White Road work comes to a halt

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Approval of a cooperative agreement between Jackson Township and Grove City, for improvements at the intersection of White and McDowell Roads, was put on hold because of unanswered questions regarding funding.

The initial $461,920 project, originally proposed by Jackson Township, included $291,920 in local transportation grant funding by the Ohio Public Works Commission, with the remainder coming from township coffers. Grove City, who previously studied widening White Road, proposed combining the township’s resources to improve the safety of the intersection with a city street-widening project and presented a multi-page agreement to the township in April.

At the time, Administrator Mike Lilly said the city took a grant for a simple signal fix and turned it into a major road-widening project. Trustees Steven Bowshier and Bill Lotz disagreed with the length and aspects of the proposal. After the city scaled back the document and re-submitted it to Jackson Township, the trustees indicated they were more inclined to consider the joint project.

However, during a caucus session on May 13, held prior to the regular meeting, Bowshier voiced concerns regarding the potential for loss of grant funding if the project was delayed and said it was unclear who would pick up the tab if the township lost state funding.

"I’m only willing to contribute if we get the $200,000 in grant funds," emphasized Bowshier.

Chairman David Burris said Grove City is committed to their portion of the project, as is Jackson Township, therefore the variable lies with the county, who is in charge of the project. He commented that both the city and township are locked in, so somebody else has to give in if there is a problem. He moved to table the agreement until Bowshier’s questions were resolved, but it is expected the trustees will vote on the agreement at their May 28 meeting.

In other discussion, Lilly admitted the month of August will be a miserable one for firefighters at station 202 while the air conditioning system is shut down. Replacement of the HVAC and boiler is due to start in June and completed by the end of August. However, the administrator said there would be a three to four week period in late July-early August when the cooling system would be non-functional and recommended contingencies be put in place to "help offset the misery."

"We’ll do what we can do," offered Burris, "but you have to realize, there are many people in the community who don’t even have air conditioning."

At the conclusion of the meeting, Burris lauded Bowshier’s efforts as coach of the Grove City Christian School baseball team, which recently ended their season.

"He puts in hours coaching the kids on not only baseball, but also morals and character," said Burris. "He’s done a great job."

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