Groveport Road sewer project back on the table

The west Groveport sewer line project has bubbled to the surface again.

Mayor Lance Westcamp, speaking at Groveport Village Council’s Jan. 28 meeting, instructed village officials to place the sewer project on council’s Feb. 19 committee of the whole meeting for "an open discussion."

The proposed  2,100 foot, $863,000 ($1.6 million if potential interest on notes/bonds is included in the total cost) sanitary sewer line would include a mix of residential, farm, churches, and commercial properties along Groveport Road west from Greenpointe Drive to the First Baptist Church of Groveport. The sewer line would serve an area encompassing 240 acres.

Marc Studley of Access Storage, located on west Groveport Road – along with representatives of the First Baptist Church of Groveport and Church of Christ – have frequently asked council to reconsider the project since council initially rejected it in a split vote on Dec. 18, 2006. (Council members Ed Rarey,  Jim Staebler and Jan Stoots opposed it while Jean Ann Hilbert and Ed Dildine supported it. Councilwoman Donna Drury was not present for the vote in 2006.)

Studley maintains the sewer line is vital for the development of the west Groveport Road area.

Those voting against the project felt at the time it placed too high of a financial burden in the form of assessments, which would be used to pay for the project, on the residential property owners in the area.

Bike path approved

Council authorized Village Administrator Jon Crusey to proceed with obtaining bids and contracting for the construction of the bicycle path in an amount not to exceed $250,000.

Crusey said original estimates for building the bicycle path were around $230,000 to $250,000. However, he told council Public Works Superintendent Dennis Moore recently obtained a revised estimate of $140,000 for building the bicycle path.

Groveport purchased 2.85 acres of land from Dan Foor at a cost of $99,750 to be used for the proposed bicycle path route to connect the village to Three Creeks Park.

The acreage is a 30 foot wide strip of land that extends north from Front Street to the Elmont Place subdivision and follows the  right of way of the former Rarey Road, which once ran from Front Street to Blacklick Creek before being abandoned by Franklin County in 1929.

The proposed bicycle path itself will be 10 feet wide and paved with asphalt.

Once the proposed bicycle path reaches Elmont Place, one option for the path’s route would be for walkers and bicyclists to use that subdivision’s sidewalks and streets for a short distance to reach Groveport’s Cruiser Park (the soccer park) along Old Hamilton Road. From there the paved bicycle path would pick up again and proceed through Cruiser Park across Bixby Road to Three Creeks Park.

Village officials are optimistic that construction of the bicycle path could begin in the spring or summer of 2008.

Water talks

Crusey and Engineer Steve Farst will hold talks on Feb. 5 with city of Columbus officials about the possibility of  the entire village of Groveport connecting to the Columbus water system.

Crusey said on Jan. 22 that the talks with Columbus would enable the village to get the "full details of what would be required of the village if it connected to Columbus (for water service)."

The meeting will provide Groveport officials with information about potential costs involved regarding tap fees, water meter changes (Groveport meters gauge use by 1,000 gallons while Columbus water meters measure by hundreds of cubic feet used), and other hook up costs. The village would also have to explore issues regarding which government entity would replace and maintain the existing water lines as well as how differences in water pressure between the Groveport and Columbus systems would be handled.

Other Groveport news

•Council approved a resolution of support for Groveport Madison Local Schools in their efforts to obtain a federal Small Learning Communities grant.

•Council heard the first reading of an ordinance to contract with Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security for the purchase of two outdoor warning sirens. Currently the village has sirens near Main Street at Hendron Road and behind Eastland Career Center. Emergency officials state the village needs two more sirens to properly cover the village.

•Council heard the second reading of an ordinance to donate $20,000 to the private non-profit organization Go Groveport!.

•Council heard the second reading of an ordinance to purchase a: $38,000 passenger van for the senior transportation program; $115,000 dump truck; $38,000 skid loader; and $45,000 in fitness equipment for the recreation center.

•Council heard the second reading of an ordinance to set the annual cost of living adjustment for village employees at 2.8 percent according to the Consumer Price Index. The adjustment only applies to those employees at the top end of the pay scale.

•Crusey told council Kroger, located on west Main Street, has asked for a variance to expand its building, but as of yet the company has not submitted a plan for the expansion.

•Council heard the first reading of an ordinance to grant a use variance to School House Finance, which operates Groveport Community School, for an additional charter school at 4085 Venture Place. The school plans to convert the former Nifco property into classrooms for grades 7 and 8. Groveport Community School currently operates a school for grades 1-6 in a nearby building.

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