Pickerington upgrades lights

 Pickerington Cub Scout Den 6, Pack 26 learned about city government and journalism on a visit to the Pickerington City Council meeting Feb. 5. The Scouts met with Pickerington Mayor Mitch O’Brien to learn about government and also visited with Southeast Messenger Staff Writer Rachel Scofield to learn what a reporter does on the job and how a newspaper functions. Pictured here with Mayor O’Brien, from left to right are Cub Scouts Mack Ito, Jonny Rieser, Ben Mason, Trey Blalock, Zach McConahay, Ty Morrison, Paul Wood and Wyatt Ross.

The city of Pickerington has replaced the incandescent traffic lights along State Route 256 with LED versions.

The new lights will save the city money.  For example, in January 2007 the light located at the corner of Hill and Refugee roads cost Pickerington $140.88 to operate while its LED replacement only cost the city $32.49 in January 2008, Pickerington Service Director Edward Drobina said at the Feb. 19 Pickerington City Council meeting.

Cameras mounted above the new lights should be operational by the end of February. The cameras will act as detectors for the traffic signals and will replace the metal sensors located in the pavement.

Video detectors have worked well at the intersection of Columbus Street and Hill Road, Drobina said. Before the cameras were installed the city would receive "traffic complaints on that intersection all the time."

Drobina added that contractors have begun to move dirt for the Diley Road expansion. Within the next few weeks workers will clear trees and bushes.  Columbia Gas will move their lines, but no service will be disrupted.

Swimming pool news

Council voted to create an aquatic recreation fund for the management of the new city pool, formerly the Swim Club.

Council suspended the rules to complete all three readings of the ordinance Feb. 19. City staff requested the suspension to begin selling passes. The sale of passes during the preseason funds the operating expenses when the pool opens.

Originally the staff asked council to pass the ordinance by emergency, meaning it would go into effect immediately.  The council deemed the emergency unnecessary because the city cannot sell passes until it closes on the property.  

Acting city manager Tim Hansley said that the tentative closing date is March 10, however it may be pushed later. Even if the closing does take place as scheduled, the city would only gain 10 extra days for sales by passing the ordinance by emergency.

Any sales lost will be "recovered with an aggressive marketing campaign," Hansley said.

The pool’s budget, including admission prices was to be discussed at the Feb. 20 finance committee. All council members serve on the finance committee.

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