Obetz news – new park dedicated, CIC update, and stormwater management

By Katelyn Sattler
Staff Writer

The city of Obetz recently dedicated Community Center Park as the D. Greg Scott Park, named after former mayor Greg Scott.

According to information provided by the city, Scott served on the Obetz Cemetery Board, the Zucchinifest Board, and the Obetz Planning and Zoning Commission. While serving on planning and zoning, Scott helped guide many projects, including the Creekside and Centerpoint developments, bringing thousands of jobs to Obetz. Scott was elected to Obetz Council in 2008. Scott helped develop many opportunities for Obetz residents, including the Obetz Athletics programs, the Obetz Athletic Club, and the Obetz Conference Center. He served as mayor of Obetz from 2012-19.

Obetz Mayor Angela Kirk said of the dedication, “We had a really good turnout. Our guys worked so hard to get that together on time. I really appreciate the hard work they did to get everything ready, and it was beautiful. The park is down the street from the house where he (Scott) grew up, where he was raised, and where he went to school.”
Pictures of the dedication ceremony can be seen on the city’s Facebook page.

Other Obetz news
•The Hamilton Township Fire Department went on 62 EMS runs and 32 fire runs this past month.

•Councilman Robert Kramer reported on area school matters.

“Unlike the past two years through the pandemic, free and reduced lunch applications will need to be filled out this year if you qualify,” said Kramer. “The past couple of years, everyone’s gotten a pass, but that is over this year,” said Kramer. “Lastly, for Groveport Madison students, There’s been a change next year for the school start and end times, so take a look at that and make sure you know what time your children start and end school.”

The start and dismissal times for Groveport Madison Schools for the 2022-23 school year are: high school 7:20 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.; middle schools 8:15 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.; and elementary schools 9:15 a.m. – 3:40 p.m.

Obetz CIC

By Katelyn Sattler
Staff Writer

The Big Walnut Area Community Improvements Corporation (CIC) met prior to the Obetz City Council meeting on July 11 and voted to donate $5,000 to the Obetz Historians, $6,000 to the Columbus Community Cup, and $60,000 to the Zucchinifest.

The board also re-appointed Harold “Buck” Stewart to the CIC for a term that began Jan. 1, 2022 and ends Dec. 31, 2024.

New officers were elected for the year, with Obetz Mayor Angela Kirk as president, Obetz Administrator Rod Davisson as vice president, Obetz Finance Director Matt Cramblit as treasurer, and Harold “Buck” Stewart (president, Capitol City Trailers, Inc.) as secretary.
The other members of the board are David Tiggett (managing director at KeyBanc Capital Markets) and Michael Flaherty (Obetz City Councilman and President Pro-Tem). The board can have a minimum of five and no more than seven voting members. The CIC board is looking for another member.

When asked how the CIC will find funding since the Columbus Crew ended its lease agreement to practice elsewhere, Davisson said, “The city of Obetz will start transferring some of the properties it owns to the CIC for the most flexible development of the properties.”

The CIC can then transfer money back to the city. The CIC had $300,000 in the bank before donating the monies to the organizations.

“The CIC doesn’t have to bid out for property sales, which makes it more nimble than the city, with less red tape and more efficient,” said Davisson.

The Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) met right after the CIC since they share board members. The CVB promotes tourism to the Obetz area.

The CVB receives a portion of the city’s bed tax to promote for tourism sales, marketing and promotion, and their associated costs according to relevant Ohio law.

The board voted to transfer the $165,458 from the CVB’s bank account to the city to supplement the city’s budget for the Zucchinifest and Fortress Obetz for marketing and promotion associated with events, said Davisson.

Mayor Angela Kirk said “The Big Walnut CIC and Obetz CVB are pleased to support the mission to support tourism and development in Obetz by contributing to Obetz’s existing slate of events and projects. We enjoy our partnership with them and are happy that their goal is the same as ours, which is to help Obetz prosper.”

Stormwater management

By Katelyn Sattler
Staff Writer

The city of Obetz submitted its annual report for 2021 to the Ohio EPA for stormwater management last March.

“We did 271 stormwater inspections alone, on 16 active construction sites that are inspected,” Community Services Director/Council Clerk Stacey Boumis said. “We dry screened 48 outfalls, which is where you have a storm pipe emptying into the Big Walnut Creek. They’re all mapped into the GIS (Geographic Information System) system that we have. Then we started our post-construction inspections. So now, once a pond or a system has been put in place, we are required under the new (Ohio EPA) permit to begin inspecting those once during our permit cycle. So, starting in 2021, we conducted 17 of those required.”

She said to make sure that the rain goes down the drain, city staff removed 1.5 tons of trash from the streets.

This is a mandatory program of the Ohio EPA.

“The Ohio EPA tests the water quality on all the different stream systems in Ohio,” said Boumis. “And this section of the Big Walnut, which is the big creek that runs through Obetz, has one of the highest water qualities In the region and we want to keep it like that. We don’t want new development to impact water quality in a negative way.”

The six minimum control measures for a Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System are: public education and outreach, public participation, illicit discharge detection and elimination, management of construction site runoff, management of post construction site runoff for new development and redevelopment, and good housekeeping in municipal operations.

“The EPA will audit the cities to make sure that we are following the guidelines,” said Boumis. “When I talked about management of construction site runoff, one of the things that we’re required to do is go out during certain times, within so many hours after rain events, and inspect construction sites to make sure that their stormwater controls are still in place.”

The city passed regulations in 2006 to create a buffer zone along the Big Walnut Creek.

“The whole goal of the program is that the water in your jurisdiction stays clean,” said Boumis. “It’s all geared towards keeping our environment as clean as we can and keeping the stream as clean as we can. No one wants to recreate in a dirty stream environment. So this is just a beautiful stream system down here. People haven’t been out on the Big Walnut to see it.”

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