By Dustin Ensinger
Major improvements to Livingston Avenue are planned for the near future.
Reynoldsburg City Council heard the first reading July 13 on a measure to hire engineering firm EMH&T to oversee an Ohio Public Works Commission funded project to improve Livingston Avenue.
The $177,000 contract will allow the engineering firm to design and bid the $3.8 million project. The city will be reimbursed for its costs paid to EMH&T.
The project will include road resurfacing from Brice Road to the five-way intersection; curb repair; crosswalk enhancements; and the installation of a new multi-use path.
Construction is slated to begin in the spring.
Upon the completion of the project, the city will have made just under $9 million worth of improvements to the Brice Road and Livingston Avenue corridors between 2014 and 2016.
Council will consider the legislation for passage on its second reading at its July 27 meeting.
Council heard its first reading on a measure to temporarily add a command position in the police department.
The legislation would allow the city to add a third lieutenant position in the department.
The city typically staffs the police department with two lieutenants. However, one of those positions is currently held by Lt. Scott McKinley, who has been on leave for several years serving as a captain in the United States Coast Guard. He plans to return once his service is over and officially retire.
Police Chief Jim O’Neill said with just one lieutenant, additional duties have fallen on others.
If the additional command position is allowed by council, it will be dissolved upon McKinley’s retirement, O’Neill said.
The new position will also allow a sergeant to be promoted to lieutenant; an officer to be promoted to sergeant; and a new officer to be hired, according to O’Neill. He said the move would save the city about $30,000 in the first year, due to the lower pay for the new officer to replace the newly promoted sergeant.
Council will consider the measure as emergency legislation after its second reading in an effort to pass it before it adjourns for its August-long recess.
Water bill payments
Mayor Brad McCloud informed council that one of the top Google search results for “Reynoldsburg water bill payment online” is a for-profit company.
The city provides the same service through its website. The practice, McCloud said, is not illegal, but he has the city’s law director looking into the matter.
Heavy rains led to some flash flooding and street closures in the city on July 12.
Service Director Nathan Burd said the flooding was no fault of the city. He called the about 4 inches of rain the city received in a short time a “very rare event.”
“The problems we had were not due to any deficiency in our storm water system,” said Burd.