A public hearing on improving existing roads and further talks on the West Broad Street Corridor Proposal were the main topics at the Prairie Township Board of Trustees meeting held on Aug. 29.
A representative from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) was there to tell the community and the board about their plans for the reconstruction of S. Grener Avenue (Sullivant Ave. to Stiles Ave.) and Gladys Road, and to request funding for those projects.
The Grener Avenue road improvement would include the replacement of the deteriorated pavement by reconstructing the roadway along the existing alignment. The two at-grade intersections will be improved and they will connect to the new profile alignment. S. Grener Avenue would also be seeing curbs, gutters and sidewalks, as well as a new storm sewer system and a connection to the existing storm system in the general area. Grener will still be a two-lane road with sidewalks, and no right-of-way issues.
The Gladys Road reconstruction will not be as extensive as the S. Grener Avenue, phase, but will also see curbs, gutters, and sidewalks, as well as a new storm sewer system.
The OPWC is suggesting a 70 percent grant, and a 30 percent loan for each project, with each project being estimated at $1 million.
“The Ohio Public Works Commission brought lots of money and good projects into Prairie Township, so we’re optimistic with these projects,” Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker said.
West Broad Street Corridor Proposal
The planning stages for the corridor area, between I-270 and Rome-Hilliard Road, have been in the works for over a year now, with several area businesses signing up for the Joint Economic Development District (JEDD). In essence, with the cooperation of the City of Columbus, the corridor proposal would include the following: enhanced law enforcement, address right-a-way issues, the building of a regional community center for area residents and employees, and most importantly, redevelopment of underused areas to create more jobs.
The City of Columbus has agreed to take the money it generates through income taxes and redirect 75 percent of the funds to go directly to the corridor.
“We have high hopes for the agreement with the city,” said Chairman Steve Kennedy. “It would benefit the whole Westland area.”
However, some residents of Prairie Township are concerned by the 2 percent tax on area workers, and the City of Columbus’ past with vacant lots.
“Less than 1 percent of residents are going to be affected by this tax,” Kennedy said. “The other 99 percent are not going to pay.”
One resident said he would be hit by the taxes twice, since his wife would be one of the 70 people affected by it. He also said it would be a burden to those who are affected by that tax from the businesses who sign on to a JEDD.
Kennedy said it makes complete sense to enhance West Broad Street to attract businesses.
“We do not want this township to deteriorate.”
A case of mistaken weeds
When Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker gave his assessment of nuisance cases on the area, one resident who had a complaint against her yard was on hand to rebut.
Christine Hall said not only was she and her daughter not in town when they put the noxious weed notice on her door, that when she came back, the township had mowed over most of her shrubbery. Hall stated that they destroyed her perennials, hydrangeas, poppies, rose bushes, day lilies and thistles, along with her blackberry, blueberry and raspberry bushes, which, she said, are all clearly not weeds.
Vice Chairman Nicole Schlosser said all nuisance cases are complaint driven; they checked out her area and deemed it excessive. Chairman Kennedy mentioned not to let flowers and shrubbery grow to or over the height of a privacy fence, but they would talk to the mowers. Hall said she has no intention to replace anything in the back garden.
Mark your calendars
On Sept. 11 and 13, the Prairie Township Senior Center is holding a “Street Smarts” night. Deputies will attend to inform residents on gang graffiti, which signs mean what, and who to call to get rid of it, among other things.
The Senior Center is located at 4656 West Broad St. and the Street Smarts program starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m.