Reynoldsburg residents will see 4th of July fireworks

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Messenger photo by Lori Smith

Reynoldsburg Mayor Brad McCloud presents Ashley Everts, a junior at Reynoldsburg High School, with a certificate of recognition for her accomplishments. Everts is active at both her school and church and has been awarded pageant titles such as the 2007 Ohio Cinderella Teen and the International Teen Cover Miss.

The show will go on in Reynoldsburg – the Fourth of July fireworks show, that is.

With little fanfare and no discussion, the city of Reynoldsburg quietly approved on March 24 the 2008 budget, which includes a $25,000 allocation for a fireworks display.

Last year’s Fourth of July fireworks and parade were axed after the previous city administration cited fiscal concerns.

Following the meeting, Reynoldsburg Mayor Brad McCloud said he carefully tweaked the budget to find funding for the fireworks because he believes they are important to the community.

"I thought it was very important for Reynoldsburg to rejoin the rest of the United States in celebrating the birth of our nation," McCloud said. "The Fourth of July celebration is one of the things that brings a city together and creates a genuine sense of community."

More importantly, McCloud said, returning the fireworks is about giving the citizens what they want.

"I heard more questions about fireworks while I was campaigning than any other issue," McCloud said. "It is important that the city give back to the people. I am really looking forward to it."

McCloud said a corporate sponsor has stepped up to help pay for this year’s fireworks.

"There is a commitment but no money has been received yet," he said.

The parade is also likely to return this year, after a group of citizens banded together to form the Reynoldsburg Community Association. The group is actively raising funds to fund a 2008 Fourth of July parade.

Regarding the Fourth of July parade, McCloud said it is not 100 percent certain it will be held this year, but "At this point it looks like it is."

McCloud said most of the other changes to the $12.86 million general fund budget were relatively minor.

"I eliminated only one position," he said. "I worked quite closely with City Auditor Richard Harris and I know that by any definition, this is a balanced budget. It is also very conservative."

Honoring her efforts

In other news, McCloud presented Ashley Everts, a junior at Reynoldsburg High School, with a certificate of recognition for her accomplishments. Everts is active at both her school and church and has been awarded pageant titles such as the 2007 Ohio Cinderella Teen and the International Teen Cover Miss.

In addition, she has competed with young women from all over the world to win two gold medals and one silver medal in the vocal categories of the America’s Amateur Modeling and Talent Competition.

She has also opened for country music stars Neil McCoy and Taylor Swift and was chosen as a semi-finalist of the 2008 Nashville Star television competition.

"I think it is important to recognize Reynoldsburg citizens who have accomplished outstanding levels of achievements, especially among our young people," McCloud commented. "We as a city can be proud of her."

Apartment concerns

Also during the meeting, Reynoldsburg resident Jackie South came to council with concerns about the apartment she resides in at Briarcliff Plaza, managed by Plaza Properties.

South alleged the living conditions are poor and said her unit has ventilation problems. She said because it is a government subsidized unit she is not getting any response to her complaints from the property management, city or county agencies.

"It appears there may be some problems with that complex of apartments," commented William Hills, president of council. "Our apartments are older than they once were, and as they get older they are harder to maintain."

Hills said since the Franklin County of Department of Health has already been to the site, he is not sure where to direct her for assistance, and asked the mayor to look into the matter.

"I’m not sure what we can do as a city to make sure your problems get corrected," Hills said.

Councilman Mel Clemens said this is a problem that is becoming all too common, and Franklin County’s Health Department needs to pursue it.

"These kinds of situations bother me," he said. "If this is a health issue, I expect them to do something about it. The city does pay them to be our health department."

He continued, "When we’re talking about apartments, and we do have a slew of them, I think it’s time we crack down them."

The mayor agreed to look into the matter and update council in a few weeks.

Other action

Council also unanimously agreed to:

•Appoint Sally L. Cochran as the full-time assistant clerk of city council; Lucas Haire as the development director; and James Miller as the director of engineering.

•Authorize the city auditor to establish a law enforcement assistance fund.

•Authorize EMH&T to provide engineering services for the first and second phases of the Rosehill Road reconstruction project.

•Authorize the issuance and sale of $13.4 million in bonds to allow Wesley Ridge to refinance its health care facility to take advantage of lower interest rates.

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