By Rick Palsgrove
The issue regarding the personal use of fireworks was again launched at Groveport City Council.
Under this new proposed legislation, which had its first reading at the April 24 council meeting, the city would allow the personal use of fireworks on the third, fourth, and fifth days of July.
Last November, council rejected legislation, by a 4-3 vote, that would have allowed the use of personal fireworks within the city limits. Because of that action, the city’s existing law banning the use of personal fireworks within the city remained in effect. Mayor Lance Westcamp and council members Jean Ann Hilbert, Shawn Cleary, and Jack Rupp opposed the measure while Scott Lockett, Ed Dildine, and Becky Huston voted in favor of it.
The legislation defeated in November would have made the city consistent with a state law that allows the use of personal fireworks on designated days. It would have allowed individuals to possess consumer grade fireworks and to discharge them on their own property or on another person’s property with permission the following days: New Year’s Day; Chinese New Year; Cinco de Mayo; Memorial Day weekend; Juneteenth; July 3, 4, and 5 and the Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays preceding and following; Labor Day weekend, Diwali; and New Year’s Eve.
State law permits local governments to restrict the dates and times when individuals may discharge consumer grade fireworks or to impose a complete ban on the use of consumer grade fireworks.
Council will hear the second reading of the new proposed legislation at its May 8 meeting, discuss it at its May 15 committee of the whole meeting, and possibly vote on it at its May 22 meeting. Council meetings are held at 655 Blacklick St.
Other Groveport news
•Elmont Place resident Jeffrey Ruehle asked council to consider extending the Foor bike/walking path, or adding a sidewalk, to the short stretch of road from the path’s ending point at Ebright Road south to Front Street near the railroad tracks. He described this area as a “no man’s land” with narrow berms that also has a blind corner at Ebright Road. He said Elmont Place residents use the Foor path to access the historic part of Groveport as pedestrians or by bicycle. Groveport City Administrator B.J. King said the stretch of Front Street from the railroad tracks to Ebright Road is not in the city limits and is in Madison Township. King said city officials will discuss the issue with Madison Township representatives.
•Council authorized King to purchase 16 body cameras for the Groveport Police under the Sourcewell Cooperative Purchase Plan. King said the purchase is “100 percent grant funded” from the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
Enhancing the Foor path would be amazing. Groveport is just 700 ft of sidewalk or multi-use path short of being fully connected in to hundreds of miles of greenway trails.
The other thing I’d hope Madison Township would consider is adding a flashing pedestrian indicator like they have on Bixby. Because of the dense vegetation and nearby buildings, it can be difficult for both path user and vehicles to see each other on the approach to the crossing.