Engineer answers questions about Rose Hill Road project

A handful of questions remain regarding the proposed $6.35 million Rosehill Road reconstruction project, but Reynoldsburg City Council is gearing up to proceed with it.

At the Feb. 19 meeting of council’s committees, Reynoldsburg City Engineer James Miller of EMH&T fielded questions about the project, which will involve reconstructing and widening the existing two-lane section of roadway into a three-lane roadway between East Main Street and Rosedale Avenue.

Plans include the installation of curbs and gutters, as well as an enclosed storm drainage system to manage and improve an on-going storm drainage problem in the area.

The Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) awarded the city $5.6 million in funding for the Rosehill Road reconstruction project, which includes a grant for $4.12 million and a zero-percent interest loan for $1.48 million. An additional contribution of $750,000 from the Franklin County Engineer’s Office will pay for the remainder of the project. The city applied for grants for this project three times since 1997, and was denied twice previously.

Miller said construction is slated to occur between March and November 2009, and he is seeking council’s approval for a new engineering study to be done this spring.

One question that remains to be answered is if Reynoldsburg is to construct a sidewalk on the west side of Rosehill Road adjacent to residents inside the city of Columbus’ corporation limits.

Miller said a meeting with Columbus’ Division of Transportation is still pending to request approximately $40,000 in funds for the construction of this segment of the sidewalk, which is approximately 2,160 feet long.

Another question is who will be responsible for the maintenance of the leisure path on the east side of Rosehill Road from the elementary school south to Main Street.

"The city is wanting to assume the maintenance of the leisure path on the east side of the street," Miller indicated.

Finally, the question remains whether the utilities will be moved underground.

"The opportunity is there to put it underground," commented Councilman Fred Deskins. "The aesthetics would be much better and it wouldn’t cost that much more."

He said he would support of that change to the plans.

"The opportunity is there and it would be a heck of a lot better."

Councilwoman Antoinette Newman said she certainly wouldn’t want to see utilities put above ground in areas where they are already underground, and Miller assured her that would not occur.

Councilman Ron Stake pointed out these are minute details of the project, and at this point the city engineer is only seeking approval from City Council to pay for the engineering services.

"We need to start our plan preparations at the end of March," Miller continued, noting he would like an official answer no later than March 24. The committee agreed to send the matter forward to full city council for its first reading.

Projected costs for the engineering study include: Brice Road from Main Street north to the city limits, $62,000; Bridgestone Drive from Rodebaugh Road to Daugherty Drive, $52,000; Timbermill Way from Brice Road to Needlewood Lane, $152,000; Laird Avenue from Ives Avenue to Hammond Road, $61,000; Hammond Drive from Clymer to Laird Avenue, $47,000; Clymer Drive from Hentz Drive to Hammond Road, $98,000; and Dawn Drive from Kingsley Drive to Glencrest Drive, $63,000.

In other Safety Committee news, Police Chief David Suciu said he conducted an investigation into a liquor permit request from GSK Enterprises Inc., which is doing business as Milligan’s Pub, 2100 Brice Road.

"I’d recommend that city council appeal this stock transfer and request a hearing into this matter with the Ohio Department of Liquor Control," Suciu told the committee.

Also during the Finance Committee meeting:

•The committee agreed to hold off on approval of two appointments to the Civil Service Commission for two weeks at the request of the mayor. Regarding a similar matter, Stake suggested appointing Reynoldsburg resident Richard "Dick" Hudson to a vacancy on the Design Review Board. "He’s been a very active volunteer and I would be in favor of that," Newman offered. Stake encouraged anybody else interested in the position to contact city hall as soon as possible. "Business needs to be done and the faster we do this the better," Stake said.

Mayor Brad McCloud announced he has completed the final appropriations for the 2008 budget. "This will be tweaked from time to time with updates as new information becomes available," he told the committee. Stake added, "I just urge that everyone look through this budget very carefully." The committee agreed to send the budget on to council for its first reading.

•Agreed to support the refinancing of Wesley Ridge bonds, which were originally issued in 1997. "The purpose is to issue bonds with a lower interest rate and save money," explained Ed Moore of the law firm Bricker & Eckler, who represents Wesley Ridge.

"Unfortunately we are up against a deadline. The numbers work today – they may not work a month down the road." He asked council to consider approving the matter by March 24, and the committee agreed to send the legislation forward to full council for its first reading at its next meeting.

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