By Rick Palsgrove
Discussions regarding the city of Groveport’s 2021 budget includes deciding on which public infrastructure projects to tackle next year and beyond.
Capital improvement projects
Groveport City Council will consider the town’s 2021-25 Capital Improvements Plan, which includes the street maintenance program, street system projects, water and sewer projects, and park improvements.
Streets being considered in 2021 under the $400,000 street maintenance program for work ranging from milling and filling to spot repair to crack sealing to microsurfacing include: Church Street; Baygrove Court; Edge Grove Drive; Brook Alley; Hickory Alley; Buckeye Alley; Maple Street; and Hilly Alley (concrete replacement). Curb and sidewalk repair are being considered for Blacklick Street.
Proposed street system projects include (with 2021 expenditures): West Bixby Road pavement rehabilitation, phase 2, $1.5 million; intersection improvements at South Hamilton Road and Higgins/Directors boulevard, $516,000; Groveport Road/Main Street at State Route 317 improvements, $160,000 with another $590,000 in 2022.
Future proposed street system projects from 2022 to 2025 include: north Center Street reconstruction; north West Street reconstruction; Groveport Road widening at Groveport Park entrance; West Bixby Road pavement rehabilitation, phase 3.
The capital projects list for 2021 also lists $50,000 for sidewalk repairs.
Proposed projects in 2021 for the water system include: $60,000 for a new elevated water storage tank that in 2022 will require an additional $1.1 million expenditure; $10,000 for fire hydrant upgrades; and $13,000 for a security system at the water plant.
Future water projects proposed for 2022-23 include: water main improvements on Elm, Center, and West streets west of College Street; Elm, Walnut, and Grove streets east of College Street; and water main replacements on the west Grove Street and Naomi Court loop.
The budget notes $75,000 is set for various park improvements annually.
The 2021 city budget process
City officials are approaching the town’s 2021 budget with a conservative eye due to the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on tax revenues and the economy this year.
Groveport City Administrator B.J. King said the city’s income tax revenue is down about 8 percent compared to this same time last year. The city’s department heads were asked to trim 15 percent from their 2021 budget proposals for their departments.
“Not all departments met that percentage, but all budgets were reduced compared to the 2020 budget,” said King. “Kudos to each department director for their work on the proposed 2021 budget.
King said with the continued uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, city officials are taking a conservative approach to the 2021 budget.
“It’s better to be safe with our budget plans rather than have to make cuts in 2021,” said King.
Council will hear the first reading of the 2021 city budget at its Oct. 12 meeting and discuss the budget at council’s Oct. 19 committee of the whole meeting. The second reading of the budget will be at the Oct. 26 meeting and council will vote on the budget at its Nov. 9 meeting.
Council meetings are held in the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St. Council meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and the committee of the whole meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.