Groveport mulls bike path plan

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Groveport Village Council is looking into extending a bicycle path from the village to connect with the larger bicycle path system in Three Creeks Metro Park.

At its Oct. 8 meeting, council heard the first reading of an ordinance to solicit bids and potentially contract for constrution of the proposed bicycle path.

On Sept. 10, Councilman Ed Rarey proposed that the village’s public works department put in an approximately one mile  bicycle/walking path extending from Corbett Road north along the east side of Old Hamilton Road to Cruiser Park and then to Three Creeks Metro Park. At the Oct. 8 meeting, Village Law Director Kevin Shannon said other alternative routes to connect the bike path to Three Creeks Metro Park are also being explored.

Rarey said Metro Parks has expressed  an interest in the past to Groveport connecting to Three Creeks Metro Park with a bicycle path. The path would link to the larger Metro Parks/Franklin County Greenways bicycle path system.

"By extending a path to the park it would allow people to go undisturbed clear up to Broad Street (in Columbus)," Rarey said in September.

Rarey suggested the path could be made of finely crushed gravel to save on costs. The village already has a similar unpaved path along the former Scioto Valley Traction Line right-of-way extending east from Blacklick Park at Blacklick Street to Rager Road.

Rarey said bicyclists who use Old Hamilton Road to get to Three Creeks Metro Park, as well as some pedestrians who walk along the road into the village, are in a "dangerous, precarious situation" when using the narrow roadway.

Council will discuss the bike path issue further at its committee of the whole meeting on Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.

Employee health insurance

By a 5-1 vote (with Rarey dissenting) council approved a one year contract, effective Nov. 1, with Medical Mutual of Ohio for health insurance for the village’s employees at a cost of $706,211.

The change was made because the village’s previous health insurance carrier, Anthem, quoted the village a price of $801,973, an increase of $121,472, or 17.85 percent, over the previous contract.

The Medical Mutual of Ohio price was only a $25,710, or 3.78 percent, increase over the existing contract.

Village Administrator Jon Crusey said the new contract’s coverages and employee costs are comparable to the existing plan except for some small price increases.

Rarey and Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert were both wary of changing companies and moving to a different plan. Hilbert was concerned about the increased costs to employees while Rarey just seemed generally skeptical.

"Insurance companies control the world and we have to pay for it," said Rarey.

Other Groveport news

•Groveport Police School Resource Officer Christopher Gyke reported that in September there were 23 fights/assaults/disturbances at Groveport Madison High School. This is an increase over September 2006 when there were 12 fights/assaults/disturbances at the school.

•Finance Director Ken Salak reported that village income tax revenues for September were up 20.42 percent over September 2006. Year to date, the village’s income tax revenues are 11.96 percent higher than at this time in 2006.

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