By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport city officials decided to delay amending the city’s employee compensation plan and pay scale.
“We need to see how the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will affect financial issues and what it means for the city,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King. “It’s the responsible thing to do.”
Groveport City Council will review the proposed changes to the employee compensation plan and pay scales at its October committee of the whole meeting and then vote on it at its first council meeting in November.
The city adopted a compensation plan in 2012 and it was amended in 2017.
“As part of the recently completed wage study, Clemans Nelson & Associates reviewed the current compensation plan and made recommendations to amend the current plan structure,” said King.
The recommendations are based on a wage data survey of 12 other central Ohio communities
Clemans Nelson & Associates also recommend that the current wage scale be shifted upward by 2 percent.
The recommendations provide that employees could progress through pay steps 1-3 on an annual basis in a traditional step increase process. After step 3, year 3, any pay increases will be based solely on a merit system.
Job positions with proposed pay grade range increases (figures shown are pay per hour) and amended job titles include:
•administrative assistant to engineering coordinator from pay grade 7 ($17.85 to $27.80) to 11 ($23.59 to $36.79).
•administrative assistant community affairs to executive assistant from grade 7 ($17.85 to $27.80) to 10 ($22.17 to $34.55).
•director of parks and facilities management from pay grade14 ($27.91 to $43.50) to 17 ($32.24 to $50.22)
•director of transportation from pay grade 14 ($27.91 to $43.50) to 17 ($32.24 to $50.22)
•part-time human resources clerk from pay grade 5 ($14.97 to $23.31) to 7 ($17.85 to $27.80).
•seasonal golf maintenance worker 1 from pay grade 2 ($9.69 to $15.56) to 3 ($10.99 to $17.67).
•seasonal golf maintenance worker 2 from pay grade 3 ($10.99 to $17.67) to 4 ($12.29 to $19.79).
Additionally, council will consider a 2 percent cost of living increase for city employees across the pay scale.
Votes on developments postponed
Groveport City Council postponed, until its May 26, consideration of legislation that could clear the way for the construction of more residences in town. These include:
•A request from property owners to amend the zoning on about 23.2 acres located at 5090 Hendron Road (located on the east side of Hendron Road and south of the railroad tracks) from rural to planned high density residential.
Redwood USA LLC is considering constructing single story, one family attached “apartment homes” on the property.
According to paperwork filed with the city of Groveport by developer Redwood USA LLC, phase one of the proposed project would build 98 units on 13 acres and phase two would build 42 units on 10 acres of the property. The 140 total units would be contained in 24 buildings with a density of six units per acre.
If approved by council, phase one construction could begin in November 2020 and phase two could start in December 2022 with total construction possibly completed by August 2023. The apartment homes would range in size from 1,300 to 1,600 square feet and each unit would have two bedrooms, two baths, and an attached garage.
•A request from Maronda Homes to amend the zoning on about 9.1 acres located west of Ebright Road and east of Shellbark Street from planned low density residential to suburban residential.
If approved by council, the change would allow for the construction of 30 detached, single family residences as an extension to the existing Hickory Grove development. The streets Shagbark Place and Butternut Lane would be extended into the proposed development with Butternut Lane connecting with Ebright Road.
Purchase of Main Street property
The city is looking to purchase the property located at 480 Main St. to enhance the development opportunities for the northwest corner of Main and College streets.
On April 13, council heard the second reading of legislation to authorize the purchase of the property. According to Groveport Development Director Jeff Green, the potential purchase price is $150,000. Council is expected to vote on the purchase at its April 27 meeting.
The .19 acre, 480 Main St. site, currently owned by Shirley White, includes a 2,048 square foot, seven room, two-story frame house that was built in 1920.
According to the Franklin County Auditor’s website, the property has a market value of $110,000 and a 2019 taxable value of $38,510.
The 480 Main St. property is adjacent to 490 Main St., a .492 acre site that the city purchased for $250,000 in 2018. That property previously was the home of Stebe’s Sales Inc., a used car business that operated there for many years. The 490 Main St. site is now a vacant lot.
Green indicated the purchase would enhance the chances of the whole northwest corner of Main and College streets being developed and that it would “maximize the development potential of the corner and allow sufficient space for a building and adequate parking.”
King noted, “If purchased, the property will be combined with the adjacent city owned property, making a larger lot for commercial development.”
Green said city officials envision the corner being developed as a, “Mixed use. Retail/restaurant/office.”
Green added there are no potential developers in negotiations for this site right now.
He said that, if the property at 480 Main St. is purchased, the city would demolish the structure on the property.
“Cost of demolition is unknown at this time, but I’d estimate it at $15,000 to 20,000,” said Green. “Council views this property as a key element in the overall development of historic downtown Groveport.”
He added that the site will remain vacant until developed.
In the city’s 2020 budget, council approved a Phase 1 environmental study and an architectural study for the city owned property on the northwest corner of Main and College streets at a cost of $25,000. Also in the budget, the city’s Community Improvement Corporation is slated to receive $25,000 to aid in the search for downtown business development.