By Rick Palsgrove
The city of Groveport’s financial practices have resulted in a significant positive upgrade in its debt rating from Moody’s Investors Service.
Moody’s Investors Service is the bond credit rating business of Moody’s Corporation that provides international financial research on bonds issued by commercial and government entities. The company recently upgraded the city of Groveport’s issuer rating general obligation limited tax (GOLT) by two steps from A2, which is an upper medium grade, to Aa3, which is a high grade.
In a letter to the city dated Jan. 9, Moody’s wrote, the city “is characterized by its ample reserves and strong tax base…the city’s aquatic center and golf course operations have recovered after having historic volatile operations…” Moody’s added that Groveport also has “strong management and budgetary practices.”
“This is fantastic news and it was a great team effort,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King. “It’s rare to receive a two step upgrade.”
Groveport Finance Director Jason Carr said it makes the city “more attractive to investors” through Moody’s Investor Service. He added that if the city has to issue long term debt, “it may lower interest costs in comparison to poorer debt ratings.”
Fatal vehicle accidents
Groveport Police Chief Casey Adams said there were three fatal vehicle accidents in the city in recent months. One was when a Groveport man lost control of a motorcycle at Old Hamilton Road and Bixby Road, another was when a driver from Hamilton Township lost control of their vehicle on State Route 317 south of Groveport Road, and the most recent was Jan. 6 when a Columbus man was killed during a failure to yield accident at the intersection of State Route 317 and Groveport Road.
Adams said three new surveillance cameras – to be installed at Front and Main streets, State Route 317 and Groveport Road, and State Route 317 and Old Hamilton Road – “will be instrumental in investigating traffic crashes at these high volume vehicle accident intersections.” He said the cameras could also help in crime reduction.
The $69,000 funding for the cameras came from a American Rescue Plan grant.
According to Adams, the cameras will aid officers in determining the direction of travel of suspects, provide visual evidence in vehicle crash areas, and more.
“The cameras will enable us to gather a variety of information on suspects,” said Adams.
•Groveport City Council authorized King to solicit bids for the city’s 2023, $550,000 street paving/pavement maintenance program and $110,000 for stormwater improvements associated with the street program. A list of the streets that will receive work in 2023 is pending. Also as part of this bid, the Groveport Municipal Golf Course driveway will be repaved in 2023.
•Council is considering legislation establishing Juneteenth (June 19) as a paid holiday for city employees.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the date when, after the end of the Civil War, enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, finally received the news they were free. Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021.
•Council is considering the purchase of the following equipment and vehicles: $107,000 for a rough mower and $84,000 for a greens mower for the Groveport Municipal Golf Course; $62,000 for a utility truck for the facilities maintenance department; and $240,000 for three police cruisers.
•In December, Mayor Lance Westcamp and council honored retired Madison Township firefighter John Jones with a proclamation regarding his service to the community and his work with the Firefighters 4 Kids program.
•Carr noted the city spent around $37,000 clearing the roads during the arctic snow storm that occurred just before Christmas. He praised the city’s snowplow crews noting that, from his experience, Groveport’s roads were more clear than any others in the area.