Urbancrest may combine offices

Most governments have one main building where they hold their meetings or have their work offices, but the Village of Urbancrest has two.

There is the building on Central Avenue, which houses the offices of the fiscal officer, the mayor and the treasurer; and then there is the building on First Avenue where the public council meetings take place.

"They are spread out on different corners as far as municipal buildings is concerned," said the Urbancrest Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr., at the Aug. 5 village council meeting.

However, if all goes according to plan, there will be a new municipal complex for the village in the near future that would eradicate the two-building problem.

"It’s just in the beginnings stages, but the possibility is very strong that we will get a new one," said Hannah Pack, chairperson of the Urbancrest Planning Commission.

Before major discussions can take place about the specifications of the complex (including square footage and the cost of expenditures), they will have to meet with several architectural firms and find one that would be best suited for the area.

"The planning commission has to be doing a lot of research to make sure they (the architects) are legit so the council doesn’t have to worry about that," Barnes said.

Barnes added the sooner they meet with the architects and are able to get a model of the complex, the sooner they (along with the city of Columbus) can begin to lobby for funds to start the building process.

Street project

In 2006, the Village of Urbancrest appealed to Franklin County for a community development block grant, which would repair streets there were in dire need of an upgrade.

"There are a lot of potholes," said Councilman Kenneth Skeaton. "When people build homes here, they dig into the streets for sewer access and it just wears and tears the roads down.

"They are just in a need of a good repair."

Last year, the grant request was approved with the stipulation that the project be done by the end of 2008.

"We estimate it will take two to three weeks to complete the project," Skeaton said.

The streets that will be repaired are Central Avenue, Main Street and Second Avenue.

Skeaton noted the start date of the street repairing project would be announced within the next week.

Policy change at YMCA

When an altercation took place in the spring at the local YMCA, representatives with the company changed their open gym policy and requested that residents sign up if they wanted to use the gym so they could monitor who was coming into the building.

"The new policy wasn’t received very well by the community," Skeaton noted.

Recently, council members met with YMCA representatives to talk about the community’s negative response with their policy decision and figure out a way to solve the problem so everyone is happy with the results.

"It was a very good meeting," Skeaton said. "The Y was very responsive to what we had to say and I’m not worried about the outcome of the meeting at all."

Skeaton added the spring altercation (which involved non-Urbancrest residents) was an isolated incident and nothing has happened before that, or since.

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