Sidewalk program approved in Prairie

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

At a recent meeting, the Prairie Township trustees approved the 15th annual sidewalk program.

“This program uses an outside company to repair sidewalks in the township,” said Tracy Hatmaker, township administrator. “Property owners can make a 10-year, interest-free payment as part of their property taxes to pay off the repairs.”

Hatmaker said that the township added a component to the program this year where the township inspects sidewalks and has the residents repair sidewalks deemed dangerous.

“All parts of the township are included in this program and if residents want to report a sidewalk they can call the road department and they will inspect it,” said Stephen Kennedy, township trustee.

Hatmaker said that the township has been focused on asking for mandatory improvements on the oldest sidewalks in the township first, but added if they receive a complaint, they will review the sidewalk to see if improvements need to be made.

“There are rules and guidelines for what needs to be repaired,” Kennedy added. “Just because a neighbor complains, doesn’t mean the sidewalk has to be repaired. It just will be inspected sooner than it would have been.”

This year the township has allocated $100,000 for the program and plans to begin repairing sidewalks this summer.

The board also approved several payments to enhance security of township assets, including the township hall and the new Galloway Road Sports Complex.

The board approved spending over $14,200 to upgrade the township hall security and fire alarm system.

“We would like to have motion detectors and key pads with fobs for the township hall, so we can more properly monitor who is accessing the building,” Hatmaker said. “Our fire system also is not up to code and needs to be upgraded.”

Hatmaker said these changes will also allow Grove City dispatchers to monitor the building should any issues arise, something they currently cannot do.

Additionally, the board approved spending approximately $23,173 on splicing the township’s fiber optic network to allow Wi-Fi at the Galloway Road Sports Complex.

“This Wi-Fi access will allow us to have cameras and phone service at the concession stand,” said James Gant, director of the community center. “Previously we were told we could have Wi-Fi out there and then found out we needed to do this in order to have it.”

Gant also gave an update on when the complex would open.

“Realistically it will open next spring,” he said. “We were hoping for this fall, but because we had a wet spring we haven’t been able to get heavy equipment on the field for grading. Once the grading is complete, the seeding will be done, and it takes year for the grass to grow.”

Officials are hoping the facility can be used regularly by summer or fall of 2019.

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