By Rick Palsgrove
A flaw has arisen in the city of Groveport’s legislation regarding heavy truck parking in the city.
Groveport resident Randy Maynard told Groveport City Council at its Jan. 13 meeting that he received a citation from the city’s zoning officials because he parked his 7,800 pound, dual wheel, flat bed tow truck in his driveway. Maynard believed he was complying with the recently passed heavy truck parking law and was surprised to receive the zoning department citation.
“Our towing company works 24/7 handling police towing calls,” said Maynard. “I have to take my truck home for my job.”
The heavy truck parking law was heavily debated and researched by council throughout 2019 and, when first enacted, it prohibited the parking of trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more on city streets and driveways.
But on Oct. 28, council approved a change that revised the ordinance to prohibit heavy trucks from being parked on the city’s residential streets and alleys, but did not restrict them from being parked on private property, such as driveways.
The law does not allow trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more to be parked on residential city streets between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Restricted heavy vehicles may be present when work or deliveries are being done as long as the vehicles are not parked for 12 hours or more.
However, Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon said the city’s zoning code was not changed when the heavy truck parking law was enacted.
“The zoning code conflicts with the heavy truck parking law,” said Shannon. “We have to have a consistent code. It’s a legislative matter. We need to clean this up.”
“We just missed it,” said Councilman Ed Dildine. “We did not look at the zoning part of it.”
Shannon said council would have to amend the zoning code to match the heavy truck parking law to allow the parking of the heavy trucks in driveways.
Council plans to discuss the issue further at its committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 21 at 5:30 p.m. in the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.
In the mean time, Shannon said the city would not take enforcement measures until the issue is resolved.
City officials said the original legislation arose because of problems with some large vehicles parking in multiple city neighborhoods. The big trucks block streets causing traffic congestion and making it difficult for emergency vehicles to get through. The vehicles’ weight may damage residential streets and there are issues of aesthetics.
Golf course renamed
Council approved renaming the city owned Links at Groveport golf course to The Groveport Municipal Golf Course.
Council appropriated $40,000 in the city’s 2020 budget to pay for the rebranding of the course and new signage.
“The budgeted funds will go to replacing signs throughout the property, but specifically the Groveport Road and Richardson Road signage, the two signs at the entrance from Richardson Road, signage around the clubhouse and signage coming down the lane entering the property,” said Groveport Director of Golf Tom Walker.
The golf course, located at 1005 Richardson Road, was formerly a private country club that the city purchased several years ago and then named it The Links at Groveport. It is an 18-hole, par-72 course operated by the city. The front nine was built in 1929, designed by Frank Waugh. The back nine was built in 1971, designed by Hurdzan/Kidwell.
In 2019, city officials began a series of rebranding efforts to help market the city and the various amenities it offers.
“During the rebranding there was some discussion about changing the (golf course) logo,” said Walker. “It was determined that the logo should remain, but that changing the name to reflect what the course is would be a better fit. A links course by definition is a course that’s located by a sea or ocean, such as St. Andrews or in the United States, Kiawah Island. Groveport’s golf course is considered a Parkland course therefore the current name is out of place.”
Walker said the choice of the new name, The Groveport Municipal Golf Course, simplifies the identification of the course.
“Many players identify the course as Groveport, not Links at Groveport,” said Walker. “To eliminate some confusion that still exists as to whether the course is public or private, identifying it as a municipal facility aids in clearing up that confusion.”
Lifeguard pay range upgrades
The recent pay range increase for lifeguards at the Groveport Aquatic Center and Groveport Recreation Center has led to pay range increases for the head lifeguard and assistant aquatics manager.
In an effort to attract more qualified lifeguards to the Groveport Aquatic Center and Groveport Recreation Center, council recently approved raising the lifeguard position pay grade from 1 to 3. This increases the hourly pay range for new lifeguard hires from $9.23 to $11.13 per hour in grade 1 to $10.78 to $14.05 in grade 3.
Because of this lifeguard pay range upgrade, council also approved increasing the pay range grade for the head lifeguard position from $10.78 to $17.32 per hour in grade 3 to $12.05 to $19.40 per hour in grade 4; and the assistant aquatics manager position from $12.05 to $19.40 per hour in grade 4 to $13.33 to $21.42 per hour in grade 5.
“It was a chain reaction,” said Groveport Acting City Administrator Jeff Green. “When we moved the lifeguard pay range up we had to bump up the head lifeguard and assistant aquatics manager pay ranges.”
Groveport Finance Director Jason Carr said the increases for the head lifeguards could cost an estimated extra $4,000 and the increase for the aquatics manager could cost an estimated $4,000 to $6,300.
Councilman Shawn Cleary questioned how much the potential overall increase in lifeguard pay will cost the city. Carr said that number was not yet available, but that an adjustment to the city budget in February will move money to the recreation department to cover the cost.