By Amanda Amsel
At a recent Prairie Township meeting, the board discussed constructing an additional parking lot for the community center.
The trustees approved a $4,500 change order for the proposed project and discussed the estimated cost to complete the work.
“We had originally hoped to be able to put gravel down on the property, but because of zoning issues with the city of Columbus, it would be more economical for the township to just pave the parking lot,” said James Gant, director of the community center. “Right now, it is estimated that the parking lot will cost approximately $500,000.”
The parking lot will be located on a piece of property the township already owns that is on the eastside of Rockford Crossing, right next to the center.
“I’m assuming this expense wasn’t appropriated,” said trustee Steve Kennedy. “Also, once we have a definitive estimate we can bid this project out.”
Once the parking lot is complete, which officials predict won’t be until late 2016 or early 2017, parking will no longer be an issue at the center. Currently parking has been an ongoing issue with many members complaining there is nowhere to park when they visit.
The community center also received $5,680 to install a sun block window film to help the lifeguards better protect residents. According to Gant, the lifeguards said a glare caused by the current windows was making it hard for them to monitor the pool, especially in the deep section. Gant said the new film would reduce the glare by 85 percent.
Gant said that currently the center has more than 700 visitors a day and 49 percent of their members are township residents.
In other news, the trustees approved spending $5,082 on enhanced signs for West Broad Street. The 16 signs and seven poles are part of the West Broad Street Streetscape.
The trustees also disputed hiring a seasonal position in the zoning department with Kennedy voting against the proposed hire.
“I’m voting no one this because even though I think they do need the help, I think they could have hired several part-time people instead of the last full-time person that was hired,” he said. “I think it would have been better for the township to hire several part-time people than a full-time person and a part-time person.”