By Rick Palsgrove
The city of Groveport will soon on a future date connect with OhioCheckbook.com to enable residents to readily view the city’s finances.
OhioCheckbook.com is an online resource cities, townships and municipalities in the state of Ohio can use to let taxpayers know how their tax dollars are being spent.
“This gives our residents the opportunity to see where the city is spending money. It shows where the money is going,” said Groveport Finance Director Jeff Green. “It goes a long way to providing more transparency.”
Currently more than 200 communities in Ohio are using this free resource.
To view the city of Groveport’s finances, visit www.OhioCheckbook.com and go to Groveport.OhioCheckbook.com.
Planning for GREAT program buses
Groveport City Council approved legislation authorizing City Administrator Marsha Hall to apply for and accept a Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) grant that will provide funding to eventually replace the city’s shuttle buses that are used for its Groveport-Rickenbacker Employee Access Transit (GREAT) shuttle service.
The city launched the GREAT program last September. The service is designed to ease area mass transit issues and bring employees to work in the city’s industrial parks. It augments COTA bus service in the Rickenbacker area and provides last-mile service for employees to businesses located within Groveport and Obetz. According to city officials, businesses in the city’s industrial parks bring in 95 percent of the city’s income tax revenue.
The MORPC grant will fund 80 percent of the cost to replace the city’s current GREAT shuttle bus fleet when necessary sometime between 2018 and 2023.
“We will only use the grant funding when it is time to replace our current shuttle buses,” said Hall. “It does not obligate us, but the grant will be there when we need it in the future.”
Hall said the grant funding will provide the city with a three to seven year window to eventually replace shuttle buses, which rack up high mileage due to their frequent use.
In 2015, the city purchased four 2016 Starcraft MVP, 28 passenger shuttle buses for the GREAT program from Bus Services, Inc., at a cost of $62,050 per bus with options.
Hall said the cost of replacement shuttle buses will be determined when needed in the future.
Support for the police
Groveport city officials took note of recent national tensions and spoke out in support of the local police force.
“I’m proud of the Groveport Police Department. They go a great job and you only have to look on their Facebook page to see the large amount of community support they receive,” said Groveport Mayor Lance Westcamp. “It’s a tough job, especially with the turmoil the country is in these days. We’ll keep moving forward.”
Added Groveport Police Chief Ralph Portier, “In the years I’ve been in Groveport, I’ve only ever received two viable complaints about our officers. I’m proud of our officers.”
Speaking on the turbulent nature of the United States these days, Councilman Ed Dildine said, “We have to be vigilant and err on the side of caution and safety.”