Council discusses State Route 665 improvements

As commuters are well aware, the renovations of the State Route 665 and Interstate 71 project have been going on for some time now.

The first phase of the project began on April 17 with the installation of storm sewers and other public utilities. The second phase of the project is happening this summer, if not already in the process, and will take approximately five months to compete. Upgrades include the widening of the north side of 665. The third phase is to begin in the winter of 2007 and the total project is estimated at $11.5 million.

However, at the Grove City Council meeting, held on July 2, the council members passed an ordinance to put aside approximately $86,000 of that 665/I-71 project fund for the current expense of road design, construction and inspection. The money will go toward making improvements along the Buckeye Ranch property that is fronting State Route 665.

To stay on the topic of road-speak, on behalf of Grove City, the City Administrator Sharon Reichard entered into contracts with the director of transportation of the State of Ohio for the improvements to State Routes 104 and 665.

The project proposes to add northbound and southbound left turn lanes on 104 and upgrade the signal at the intersection of 104 and 665.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) agreed to foot the costs of preliminary engineering, right-of-way and construction 100 percent, which Grove City agreed to cover the total cost of those features requested by the city, which are not necessary for the improvement as determined by the State and Federal Highway Administration.

In other news:

•Council named Dr. Howard Whitney the assistant finance director for the rest of the 2007 year as Robert Behlen is retiring, effective the end of July. For four years, Whitney was the city auditor for Reynoldsburg.

•Council approved two special use permits for outdoor concerts that will be held later this month.

On July 27, the Grove City Kids Association will hold their annual Homecoming celebration located at Murfin Fields. The festivities will begin at 8 p.m. and will cease at 11 p.m. The music will include covers of Jimmy Buffett and family friendly sounds, said Grove City Kids Association President Bob Lewis.

The next day (July 28) will feature the Balloons off Broadway Event that will be located at Sesquicentennial Park (Park Street).

"It starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be over by 10:30 p.m.," said Grove City Parks and Recreation Director Kim Conrad. "Also, the stage will be on the eastern edge facing the parking lot of Park Street Middle School."

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