GC council approves warehouse plan

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A new distribution center is on its way to Grove City.

At the Nov. 5 Grove City Council meeting, council unanimously approved the development plan for KC Life Southwest Boulevard Distribution Center. It will be located south of Southwest Boulevard and west of the CSX railroad tracks, near the South-Western City Schools District transportation terminal. Council allowed the plan to pass without a few stipulations set forth by the Grove City Planning Commission.

When the plan went before planning commission, the members approved it with five stipulations, which included an illuminated fountain to be installed in a retention pond, sidewalks along the front of the property and landscaping. The planning commission also wanted the parapet on the building’s southern exterior to be raised to screen rooftop mechanicals.

Gregory Galvin, who was representing the company, asked council to approve the development plan and nix a few of the stipulations. He said the illuminated fountain in the retention pond would sit in the rear of the property where no one could see it. He did not see the point in adding aesthetics, where it could not be viewed. Council said they could do without an illuminated fountain, but said they want an aeration system in that pond. They also let him pass without raised parapets on the east and west sides of the building.

Galvin said the 200,000 plus square foot KC Life Southwest Boulevard Distribution Center would like to pay a fee in lieu of installing sidewalks. He explained that if the company were to install a sidewalk, there would be no connectivity. He proposed setting up a fund where the company would pay the city their share when the city decided to install sidewalks along that stretch of roadway. Some city leaders did not like the idea.

"I would prefer not to defer the sidewalks," said Grove City Mayor Cheryl Grossman. "There is a lot of foot traffic, being that close to Broadway, and we are concerned for pedestrian safety."

Council agreed to allow the company to work with the city administration and service department on the sidewalk fee. Kim Conrad, director of Grove City Parks and Recreation said in the long-term, the city would like to see an eight-foot bike path along Southwest Boulevard.

"This is just in theory right now," she noted.

Galvin said he would agree to use the sidewalk fee towards a bike path if the city chooses to go in that direction. Sidewalks in the city are required to be four feet wide.

Council members said they are excited to see this distribution center in the area. They hope it will bring income and jobs to the area.

"Right now, this is something we need," said Councilman Richard "Ike" Stage.

In additional news:

•Council passed a resolution authorizing the city administrator to enter into a contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1116, Ohio Council 8, AFL-CIO.

This includes mechanics, maintenance technicians, clerical and other service positions in Grove City. Their previous contract expired on April 21. The labor counsel for the union said the contract was fair and standard.

•Grossman officially swore in new Police Chief Joe Wise. He has served as an officer since 1984 and was a police captain for several years before his promotion.

"It has been a privilege to serve this community," said Wise. "I have 80 of the finest employees in the state of Ohio."

Grossman said she is positive Wise will lead the force well.

•The next public council meeting will be held on Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. at Grove City Hall.  

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