Groveport might pave path

Groveport Madison Local Schools have asked the village of Groveport for help in paving part of the old Scioto Valley Traction Line right of way for pedestrian use.

At Groveport Village Council’s Aug. 11 meeting, Interim Village Administrator Ken Salak told council Groveport Madison officials would like to see about 850 feet of the former traction line right of way path paved from Hendron Road east to a point where it meets an existing paved path that leads to Glendening Elementary. (The traction line was an electric rail system that once passed through Groveport in the early 20th century.)

The old right of way in the area in question is just south of the Hendron Road apartments and extends past the rear of some west Main Street homes and the former pharmacy.

"They would like us to pave it and possibly split the cost with us," said Salak, who said a preliminary estimate for the proposed asphalt path is $15,000.

Salak said Groveport Madison is making revisions to its bus routing that would require students, who are within a mile of their school, to walk to school. Paving the existing traction line path, which is now a mixture of gravel and cinder, would make it easier on student pedestrians to reach school.

Council was wary of the idea.

Councilman Shawn Cleary said there is a resident who  uses a vehicle on the old traction line path to reach the rear of his property. Local business people also have concerns on how a potential increase in vehicle traffic in the area caused by parents dropping their children off at the head of the path could impact their businesses.

Councilman Ed Rarey noted the potential dangers of the geography of the area along the old traction line right of way, which includes a couple of "cut through" dirt paths by the former pharmacy and near Mohr Avenue as well as a weedy drainage ditch that meanders through the area.

"It’s kind of rangy back there," said Rarey.

Council will invite Groveport Madison officials to discuss the matter further at council’s Aug. 18 committee meeting.

Commercial development

Village Law Director Kevin Shannon said TNT Enterprises of Ohio LLC, the applicant for a liquor permit at the former Groveport Lounge, has no criminal record or any other issues of concern.

"But we’ll comb it some more and make sure there are no problems," said Shannon.

Shannon said the company is seeking the transfer of an existing liquor permit for the site.

Building Official Stephen Moore said he believes the company plans to open a "sports bar/lounge" type of business in the former Groveport Lounge, located at Main Street and Mohr Avenue, as well as a separate restaurant in the diner at the west end of the complex. He said the two operations could share a kitchen.

Mayor Lance Westcamp asked Shannon to contact representatives of TNT Enterprises of Ohio LLC and ask if they would like to come before council to present their plans for the site and to answer any questions council may have.

Downtown development

Rarey noted the improvements being made to the Birch Tavern on Main Street.

"The new facade matches the historic downtown," said Rarey. "I hope we can cooperate with the owner’s vision. It looks great."

The look of the building blends in with the architecture of Groveport Town Hall, the Groveport-Canal Animal Hospital, homes in the area, and the proposed plans for the Groveport Town Center – a Pizzuti development slated for the northeast corner of Front and Main streets.

Plans for the Birch Tavern include renovations inside and outside, a patio, and a kitchen.

Pond gunk

Rarey complained about the thick layer of algae on Palm Pond in Heritage Park.

Public Works Superintendent Dennis Moore said the algae is caused by runoff from fertilizer in the grass around the pond. He said chemical methods of eliminating the algae are not a good choice considering the nature of the pond as a fishing and wildlife area.

"There’s seven different kinds of frogs living in the pond," said Moore. "You got to watch what you put in the pond so you don’t kill what’s living there."

One method being considered to remove the algae is to rake it out.

Other Groveport news

•Westcamp said he has narrowed his search for a new village administrator down to three candidates and that interviews will be conducted soon.

•Council approved an ordinance to contract with Groveport Madison Schools for the village to provide a police school resource officer (SRO) for Groveport Madison High School. Under the contract, Groveport Madison will pay $45,877 for the SRO, which is 69 percent of the cost of the officer, and the village will pay the remaining $20,611, or 31 percent.

•The village received $19,645 in snow emergency funds from FEMA stemming from snowstorms from late last winter.

•Salak reported that SWACO is proposing a $2 increase in its trash tipping fees. SWACO states that a decrease in waste and an increase in costs to process waste necessitates the increase in 2009. It would raise the tipping fee from $24.75 to $26.75 per ton.

•Council heard the second reading of an ordinance to solicit bids and contract for the installation of a traffic signal at Groveport Road and Greenpointe Drive.

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