Groveport Council news – meeting time change, child safety, stormwater plan, and cell tower

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

If citizens want to attend Groveport City Council’s committee of the whole meetings in 2017, they will have to arrive an hour earlier than in the past.

Council changed the time of its monthly committee of the whole meetings from 6:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (The committee of the whole regularly meets on the third Monday of the month). Council will keep the starting time of its regular council meetings, held on the second and fourth Mondays of the month, at 6:30 p.m. Both the committee meeting and council meetings are held at the municipal building located at 655 Blacklick St.

According to Council President Shawn Cleary, the time change makes it more convenient for the city’s department heads to attend the committee meeting because they will not have to wait around so long after the workday ends for the meeting to start.

The purpose of council’s committee  of the whole meetings is for council and city officials to discuss pending legislation and other city issues. No formal votes are taken on legislation at these committee meetings. All formal legislative votes and decisions by council are made at the regular council meetings.

Cleary had concerns that having two different start times for meetings could confuse residents, but he said it’s better to keep the council meeting start time at 6:30 p.m. to “make sure residents can get to those meetings” after their workday ends.

Added Councilman Ed Dildine, “Residents have to have the opportunity to be here for council meetings because that’s where decisions are made.”

City Administrator Marsha Hall added that changing the council meeting start time to 5:30 p.m. would cause a conflict on days where a public hearing on an issue needs to be held before the council meeting.

“Holding a council meeting at 5:30 p.m. may be pushing it when there’s a public hearing scheduled,” said Hall.

Child safety in vehicles

Groveport Police Chief Ralph Portier said his department recently received calls from witnesses at schools and day care facilities about parents picking up and dropping of small children who are unrestrained in either a safety seat or by safety belts in their vehicles.

“Ohio law is pretty clear on this issue,” said Portier. “We follow up on these complaints.”

Portier said a sudden stop in a vehicle can cause head and neck injuries to children, even at as low a speed as 10 mph.

According to the Groveport Police, the legal requirements for child restraints in vehicles are: Children who are either age 4 and weigh less than 40 pounds, up to age 8, must be in an approved child safety seat unless they are 4’9” or taller; and children from ages 4 to 15 must be in either a child restraint seat or in the vehicle’s seat belt. Adults must use seat belts.

Stormwater Management Plan

The city of Groveport updated its Stormwater Management Plan and is accepting comments from the public about the plan until Jan. 31, 2017.

Comments may be emailed to stormwatercompliance@groveport.org or by mail to Stormwater Management Plan Update, c/o City Engineer, 655 Blacklick St., Groveport, OH 43125. Citizens may view the plan on the city’s website at www.groveport.org.

According to Groveport City Engineer Steve Farst, stormwater runoff flows through the municipal separate storm sewer system and is often discharged, untreated, into local bodies of water. The plan establishes controls to minimize pollutants in stormwater runoff from reaching area streams.

“The plan is important as it leads to better quality of life for the community,” said Farst.  “An effective plan can lead to better awareness by the public of the importance of pollution prevention, such as responsible disposal of household wastes and stopping the public of dumping non-stormwater-related fluids, like used oils, into storm drains and over fertilizing yards, which can lead to nutrient overloading into streams.”

Farst said citizens can help by not pouring household waste (such as chemicals, oils, greases) in ditches, streams, and catch basins and by following guidelines for responsible disposal.

“Businesses are affected too, in gaining a better understanding of the proper way in which to care for, operate and maintain their privately owned stormwater treatment facilities, like stormwater retention ponds,” said Farst.

Cell phone tower

Groveport City Council approved legislation for a lease agreement with New Par, DBA Verizon Wireless, for the construction and installation of a cellular tower on the city’s water treatment plant site on South Hamilton Road.

According to City Administrator Marsha Hall, the tower will have a security fence and would be placed on the southwest side of the site, which is near the rear of the property. She said the lease will have a five year term with five consecutive five year automatic renewals. The annual rent for the tower paid to the city will be $10,800. The lease also requires Verizon to allow other companies the use of the tower if the city so requests. The city’s police radio system would be moved to the site for improved service.

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