Groveport buys land for bike path

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Groveport village officials have purchased 2.85 acres of land from Dan Foor at a cost of $99,750 to be used for a proposed bicycle path route to connect the village to Three Creeks Park.

The acreage is a 30 foot wide strip that extends north from Front Street to the Elmont Place subdivision and follows the  right of way of the former Rarey Road, which once ran from Front Street to Blacklick Creek before being abandoned by Franklin County in 1929.

Once the proposed bicycle path reaches Elmont Place, one option for the path’s route would be for walkers and bicyclists to use the subdivision’s sidewalks and streets for a short distance to reach Groveport’s Cruiser Park (the soccer park) along Old Hamilton Road. From there the paved bicycle path would pick up again and proceed through Cruiser Park across Bixby Road to Three Creeks Metro Park.

A second piece of legislation that would authorize Village Administrator Jon Crusey to proceed with contracting for the construction of the bicycle path was tabled in December until council’s Feb. 11 meeting. Law Director Kevin Shannon said the tabling was necessary so village officials could develop accurate cost estimates for the project.

Village officials are optimistic that construction of the bicycle path could begin in the spring or summer of 2008.

However, Crusey said council will have to make a decision to postpone another project, or projects, already outlined in the village’s five year plan in order to free up the money to pay for construction of the bicycle path.

Council will discuss the bicycle path further at its Jan. 22 committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.

Tennis courts in Degenhart Park

Resident Charles Glaser told council he opposes the proposed installation of two additional tennis courts in Degenhart Park at a cost of $80,000.

"That would make five tennis courts in the park," said Glaser. "It would no longer be a neighborhood park, but a tennis park."

He said more tennis courts would not be the best use for the land because tennis courts are not used year round. He added the courts would also harm the aesthetics of the small park.

Glaser suggested the village think about putting the two new tennis courts in the much larger Groveport Park instead.

Other Groveport news

•The Groveport Police Department reported that in December 2007 there were 31 fights/assaults/disturbances at Groveport Madison High School, which is up from December 2006 when there were 12 such incidents. Year to date in the 2007-08 school year there have been 93 fights/assaults/disturbances at the school.

•Council heard the first reading of an ordinance to donate $20,000 to the private non-profit organization Go Groveport!.

•Council heard the first reading of an ordinance to purchase a: $38,000 eight passenger van with lift for the senior transportation program; $115,000 dump truck; $38,000 skid loader; and $45,000 in fitness equipment for the recreation center.

•Council heard the first reading of an ordinance to create the position of recreation coordinator in the parks and recreation department with an annual salary range of $32,734 to $48,381.

•Council heard the first reading of an ordinance to set the annual cost of living adjustment for village employees at 2.8 percent according to the Consumer Price Index. The adjustment only applies to those employees at the top end of the pay scale.

•Council approved the adoption of an employee health saving account for village workers participating in  the village’s optional high deductible health plan.Thirty-nine of the 72 employees on the village’s health insurance are participating in the plan which will result in the village saving about $40,000 in 2008.

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