Council considers pay raise; also project postponed and leash law tightened

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor
Groveport City Council members are reviewing information regarding whether they should get a pay raise, but they have several months before they must make a decision on the issue.

According to the Groveport City Charter, salaries for elected officials can be adopted no later than July 1 of each odd numbered year and are effective for two years beginning Jan. 1 of the even numbered year immediately following the adoption of legislation establishing the salaries. So in this case council has until July 1, 2025 to decide on the issue.

According to Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon, the July 1 deadline in the odd numbered year also allows time for a citizen referendum, should one arise, on the issue.

In 2018, council members, as well as the mayor, received their first pay raises in 25 years as council’s annual salary rose from $3,000 to $6,000 and the mayor’s annual salary increased from $18,250 to $26,000.

This current round of potential salary increase discussions does not include the mayor’s salary.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s 2023 Annual Salary and Fringe Benefit Survey indicates there is a range in annual salaries for city council members in Central Ohio. According to this survey, here are the annual salaries for some area city councils: Canal Winchester, $6,592; Obetz, $6,998; Bexley, $6,360; Dublin, $11,250; Grove City, $11,000; Gahanna, 9,600; Lancaster, $9,500; Pataskala, $5,071; Reynoldsburg, $8,657; Sunbury, $8,800; Whitehall, $6,000; Worthington, $7,920.

Council President Ed Dildine said council members will review a summary of council salary information from the Central Ohio area compiled by Council Clerk Mindy Kay. He said council will discuss the proposed council salary increases in the city’s budget discussions this fall.

Project postponed; dog leash law tightened

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Requests for a zoning change and annexation regarding the development of the proposed construction of a 212,000 square foot freezer/cooler facility on 18 acres on the north side of Groveport Road just west of Saltzgaber Road have been withdrawn by the applicant.

The proposed development had also included a smaller parcel that could have been marketed for retail use.

As a result of the applicant’s withdrawal, Groveport City Council voted to indefinitely postpone the legislation regarding the requests at its Feb. 12 meeting.

Nate Green of the Montrose Group told Groveport City Council in October that the proposed development would be a $42 million investment in land and the facility. He said the facility could bring 100 jobs to the area and generate a possible $166,000 per year in income tax revenue for the city of Groveport. He said the facility could handle items such as food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and nutritional products. It would use freon as its cooling agent.

“If and when the applicants are ready to come forward again, they can initiate new legislation, but the process would start completely over,” said Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon.

Dog leash rule tightened
Council approved legislation to tighten the leash regarding dogs in public places.

The action amends the city’s general offense code 505.01, titled “Dogs and other animals running at large” by adding the sentence, “Keep the dog under the reasonable control of some person by a leash when walking upon any public place.”

Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon said the law is enforceable by the police and offenders could be subject to a fine up to $150 plus court costs.

“As we review our codes, it seems like a proactive move to make to assure safety of the community,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King.

King said the term “public place” includes parks and publicly owned facilities, including sidewalks. He said there is no leash length requirement. He said the revision to the law does not impact dogs on private property.

“Dogs can be off leash on private property,” said King.

Per another existing city ordinance, people are prohibited from bringing animals to city sponsored event and festival areas, such as Apple Butter Day, Fourth of July celebration, and KidsFest. This law does not apply to guide or service dogs, police dogs, animal exhibits at the events, or pets on residential properties within the event area.

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