GC council rejects $180,000 land deal

Plans to expand the park at Hoover Park have come to a halt.

At the Aug. 18 Grove City Council meeting, council unanimously rejected an ordinance that would have allowed the city administrator to enter into a purchase agreement that would have secured approximately two acres of land.

The property, located at 4649 Haughn Road, was to be used to expand and enhance the neighborhood park that is located at Hoover Park. It would have provided frontage on Haughn Road and allowed the city to connect the trail from the park to Murfin Field.

The estate belongs to Virginia Mae Ranke. The parcel’s value is estimated at $180,000. At the Aug. 4 council meeting, Ruth Ranke, a family spokeswoman, told council the family might be willing to reduce the price to $150,000 if the city would give naming rights to the family. Council postponed the measure until the latest meeting.

According to city officials, there was a disagreement among the Ranke family heirs to lower the price. Chuck Boso, the city’s development director, explained that if the family were to lower the price, they would receive a lower tax value.

Since the price was not lowered, council voted against the measure to purchase the property. The expansion project was slated to begin in 2009. The city administration could bring the issue back to council if they are able to work out a new contract with the Ranke family.

No one from the family publicly addressed the issue at the meeting.

City lights

Council passed an ordinance to appropriate $107,650 from the general fund for the street lighting project in the Charles Drive area.

Grove City Service Director Darryl Hughes said the city plans to install about 15 street lights in the area. It includes lighting on Charles Drive, Waldon Place and Waldon Bluff Court.

Council also approved a measure to set aside $24,500 to design a traffic signal at the Buckeye Parkway and Holton Road intersection. This is part of the city’s capital improvement plan.

D.A.R.E. funding

Council passed a resolution to authorize the police chief and the mayor to apply for funding from the D.A.R.E. grants program.

Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks was on hand to show her support for the city.

"Your officers are doing a great job," said Brooks.

The commissioner said there is a big push with Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and the Ohio State Highway Patrol to get drunk drivers off the roadways. Brooks said D.A.R.E. funding would allow officers to keep the roads safe and educate local children about driving under the influence.

She noted that the county would help the city secure funding in any way it can.

Remembering a staff member

City council and administration publically remembered Dick Lester, who served as a sports coordinator for the city for seven years.

Lester had retired from the city several year ago. He was a referee at the annual homecoming softball tournaments. He passed away right before the tournament this year.

Grove City Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said Lester played a large role in youth and adult sports for the city.

"He will be missed," said Stage to Lester’s brother Jim.

Lester was the father of former councilman Richard Lester.

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