By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport City Council has approved creating an assistant administrator/development director position in order to enhance development in the city.
City Administrator Marsha Hall indicated that current assistant administrator/finance director Jeff Green is slated to move into the assistant administrator/development director position.
Added Mayor Lance Westcamp, “I believe with council moving forward with interest in downtown development and the availability to keep our local businesses growing, it is time we put Jeff Green back as our economic development director full time.”
Hall said the annual pay range for the assistant administrator/development director position is from $70,446 to $113,237.
“With Jeff Green being re-assigned to this position, there will be no change in his pay,” said Hall, who noted Green’s current annual salary is $109,179.
Until 2011 there were two positions: economic development director and finance director. However, in 2011, the economic development director was made the interim finance director when the then current finance director resigned.
“Directing the finance department was in addition to Jeff Green’s other duties overseeing economic development and acting as assistant administrator,” said Hall. “In 2012, those duties became permanent, mostly because the finance operations were going well and as a convenience.”
Hall said establishing the assistant administrator/development director position is needed because the city is emphasizing development in the downtown, office, and the city’s Gateway districts, which requires the time the position now gives to finance.
“It’s in the city’s best interest to go back to two positions so that development can have the attention it requires,” said Hall. “Additionally, I know of no other municipality that combines these two positions.”
When asked how the proposed change would affect the finance director position, Hall said, “The finance director will be a separate position overseeing the finance department. In Groveport, in the past, the finance director also served as assistant administrator when needed. With this change, the development director will handle those duties.”
As Green shifts positions, a new finance director must be found. According to the city charter, the finance director is appointed by the mayor with confirmation by council.
In development news, Green reported that March 29 was the deadline for the submission of proposals for the development of the .49 acre former used car lot on the northeast corner of Main and College streets.
“Although we did not receive any proposals by the deadline date, we plan to follow up with the entities that requested the request for proposals to find out their interest in the site,” said Green. “Promotion of the site will be the focus of much of the advertising for the remainder of 2019.”
Green said the city has purchased advertising in various publications to promote the development of commercial opportunities in downtown Groveport.
He also said city staff is considering ideas for regular activities, especially in the summer, to attract people to downtown Groveport, such as possibly enlarging the farmer’s market with food trucks and pet shows as well as presenting live music performances downtown and elsewhere on Main Street.
Gasoline tax revenues
The city of Groveport will receive more in its share of local gasoline tax revenue now that state officials approved, effective July 1, a 10.5 cent increase in the gasoline tax, which raises the total gasoline tax per gallon to 38.5 cents per gallon.
According to Ohio Department of Transportation estimates, the increase in the state gasoline tax will increase Groveport’s share of the funds in 2020 from $316,569 to $514,536. Hall has stated the city uses the local gasoline tax revenue for, “Street projects for our larger streets. For example, we will use it for our upcoming Bixby Road project (which is a pavement rehabilitation project extending from Ebright Road to U.S. Route 33).”
Elm Street parking
Council is considering limiting parking to one side of the street on Elm Street west of College Street. According to Hall, the action is being considered because of the narrowness of the street in that area. Hall said letters will be sent to residents of that area explaining what is being planned regarding the parking change and council will consider legislation to enact it at one of its upcoming meetings.