Roadwork funds for JT

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Jackson Township opened a gift from the state a little early this year with the preliminary news it was awarded nearly $300,000 for renovation of the intersection at White and McDowell roads.

Although the official announcement was not made for another three days, Township Administrator Mike Lilly told trustees on Dec. 11 he received word the Ohio Public Works Commission approved $291,920 in local transportation grant funding for the $461,920 road project.

Twenty five municipalities submitted grant applications, but only five, including Jackson Township, made the final cut. Lilly said the township’s portion of the project is $100,000, but state money will not be released until summer 2008. Intersection improvements include construction of turn lanes and installation of a traffic signal and are scheduled to begin in March 2009.

Southwest Area Plan

Franklin County Economic Development and Planning representative Ben Weiner presented an overview of the process involved in creating a Southwest Area Plan (SWAP) for Jackson and Franklin Townships and Columbus. The area is bound by Harrisburg Pike on the west, Mound Street and Greenlawn Avenue to the north, the Scioto River on the east, and I-270 to the south.

"It’s a neighborhood-based process that focuses on land use," Weiner told the trustees. "The idea is to have a framework for future development. It gives a guided implementation. What it doesn’t cover is code enforcement or neighborhood safety. Because it is a multi-jurisdictional plan, the Southwest Area Commission is acting as the client.

When complete, the plan’s role and function is to assist neighborhoods in reaching consensus on development-related policies and standards consistent with city policy, focus on land use and urban design policies serving as a basis for evaluating development proposals, and establish priorities for capital improvements and other public investments.

The plan’s 14-member working committee is comprised of planning staff and representatives from the three jurisdictions. Land use plans will build upon existing uses, highlight development opportunities, and determine how development policies may be applied to neighborhoods. Conceptual designs may be developed for one or more sites and key issues to be addressed are density and design. A transportation element will build on existing/developing plans and identify priority issues.

According to Weiner, the next step is to sign a planning services agreement, appoint members of the working committee, and hold stakeholder interviews.

In other news

•Prior to the start of the regular meeting, Trustee Steven Bowshier was sworn in for another term by fellow Trustee Bill Lotz and Fiscal Officer Alma Bennett.

•Christmas falls on the last Tuesday of the month; therefore the next regular trustee meeting will be held on Jan. 8 at 1:30 p.m. Caucus begins at 12:45 p.m.

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