Downtown plan gets six month extension

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Groveport Village Council is not ready to give up on the proposed downtown development project targeted for the vacant northeast corner of Main and Front streets.

At its June 9 meeting, council unanimously voted to extend  the village’s lease and development contract with Pizzuti Solutions regarding the project for another six months. It is the second six month extension the village has issued on the agreement and will allow Pizzuti to continue to market the project to attract businesses.

However, Councilman Ed Rarey tempered the extension by noting that commercial development north of the village could hamper any hopes to bring businesses to the village’s downtown. He said the village should look at other options "if the next six months don’t produce anything."

Village Administrator Jon Crusey observed that the project needs a "destination type restaurant" that could draw from a large area. He noted the village has the capability to draw people from other areas when the right thing is offered, such as the recreation center, aquatic center, and golf course.

Plans for the site call for a potential retail/office development that includes: two, 19th century style two story brick buildings with varied storefronts, one 200 feet long and the other 100 feet long, totaling 34,280 square feet; parking in the rear in the former Ohio and Erie Canal bed, as well as some spaces on Main Street, that would accommodate 146 vehicles; and a public space at the west end of the development at Main and Front streets.

Farewell to Crusey

Mayor Lance Westcamp, council, and staff members bid farewell to Crusey, who was attending his last council meeting as village administrator. Crusey will begin work as the city manager in Tipp City on June 16.

Saying Crusey achieved a lot for the village in his three years as administrator, Westcamp added, "I wish him and his family the best of luck."

Crusey thanked the mayor, council, staff, and village employees.

"Everyone was great to work with. Everyone here works for what’s best for the community. I appreciate everyone’s support," said Crusey.

Westcamp named Finance Director Ken Salak as interim village administrator. The mayor said he will begin reviewing applications for Crusey’s replacement this week. He set no timetable for naming the new administrator.

School resource officer report

School Resource Officer Chris Gyke reported that in May there were 34 fights/assaults/disturbances at Groveport Madison High School. In May 2007 there were 18 such incidents.

According to Groveport Police statistics, there have been 257 fights/assaults/disturbances at the high school in the 2007-08 school year. This is an increase over the entire 2006-07 school year when there were 150 such incidents recorded.

Other Groveport news

•Police Chief Gary York said, following a meeting with Franklin County EMA & Homeland Security, that the two best locations for additional warning sirens in the village would be at the Public Works facility on Groveport Road and at Cruiser Park on Old Hamilton Road.

"Both locations would cover areas currently not covered by outdoor warning sirens," reported York, who added he will keep village officials updated on the project.

•Village officials are researching placing flagpoles in all of the village’s parks. Currently Groveport Park, Heritage Park, Veterans Park, and Blacklick Park have flagpoles while Degenhart Park and Cruiser Park do not. Officials are also looking into placing a flagpole at the village entrance sign at Groveport Road and State Route 317.

•Council heard the first reading of an ordinance to construct two additional tennis courts at Degenhart Park at an estimated cost of $80,000.

•The Madison Street reconstruction project is expected to be completed in early July.

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