Willow Creek still in the dark after promised lights

Representatives from the City of Columbus told residents of the Willow Creek subdivision that street lights would be added to their neighborhood after voters approved the last bond issue. Several years have passed and those residents are still in the dark.

Willow Creek resident and Southwest Area Commission member Clyde Miller said that residents received a timetable of when to expect the lights, but the city failed to meet any of its own deadlines.

The subdivision was built about 35 years ago with a section added in the last 10 years. The new section has streetlights on metal poles.

The promised streetlights would be on wooden poles. Three residents submitted written requests for the installation of metal poles to match the rest of the subdivision.

Miller said a city official told him that a public hearing must be held to discuss the metal poles, which residents would pay for themselves. At the hearing, the city would compare the types of poles and inform residents how much an upgrade would cost them.

If no hearing occurs, the wooden poles will be installed. Miller said the city has been unclear regarding the time period it would wait before determining if a hearing will or will not be held.  

Miller also said he finds it unlikely that the three residents would know how to organize a public forum for the hundreds of people who may wish to attend. Auditoriums capable of holding such a meeting would charge a fee.

At their meeting Jan. 16, the SWAC appointed residents, politicians and business owners to the work committee of the Southwest Area Plan.

Due to limited space on the committee and the desire that the group represent multiple aspects of the community, many people who volunteered could not serve.

Everyone will have a chance to participate at upcoming open forums, said commission president Ralph Horn.

The purpose of the committee and the forums is to determine how people living and/or working in the area would like to see their neighborhoods developed. Dates have not yet been set for the meetings.

The twelve members of the work committee include representatives from Franklin and Jackson Townships, SWAC members, local landowners, business representatives, and several residents.

The area plan will be completed by the end of the year and submitted to Columbus City council. Examples of developments that community members have suggested for the plan include libraries, sidewalks, meeting facilities and medical offices.

In other business, Columbus Division of Police Sergeant Joe Horton said that Precinct 10, which includes the commission area, received another officer on third shift.  

The new officer patrols the area to the west of Georgesville Road, where the department felt attention was needed. Before hiring the new police officer, officers assigned to areas of the precinct as distant as Frank Road were pulled from their patrols to assist on Georgesville calls.

Now officers can remain in the neighborhoods where they belong, Horton said.

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