Bexley News

Development, crime on agenda for council retreat

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During their retreat this weekend, Bexley City Council members are scheduled to discuss economic development along East Main Street and East Livingston Avenue, crime prevention and the community's relationship with Capital University.

Tim Madison, chairman of council's strategic committee, said he organized the agenda based on a questionnaire he circulated to the six other council members to gauge priorities.

"I drafted the agenda based on responses," he said.

The retreat is open to the public; the majority of the discussions will take place during a daylong session March 2 at Dawes Arboretum, 7770 Jacksontown Road in Newark. The discussion about Capital University is scheduled for the afternoon.

Last month, city officials began participating in a series of meetings scheduled this year with Capital University representatives and members of the South Bexley Neighborhood Association. The group is meeting to try to find a workable solution to a plan the university submitted to the Bexley Planning Commission last spring to add lighting and a new sound system to its Bernlohr Stadium.

Capital tabled the proposal in order to gather community input after residents in the surrounding area expressed concerns about noise, congestion and safety. The city is finishing traffic, sound and use-intensity studies related to the stadium plan.

Other topics to be covered during the council retreat include the pros and cons of using existing technology to increase efficiency in the police department versus hiring additional officers, the city's five-year financial forecast; and the proper use of general funds.

Council members and Recreation Director Michael Price also are scheduled to discuss the possibility of implementing a financial incentive program for city Recreation and Parks employees who frequently work overtime at special events such as the city's Fourth of July celebration.

The retreat also will include a review of the current format of council meetings, the purpose of council committees and what form they should take in the future.

The retreat will officially begin at 5 p.m. Feb. 28 in City Hall's council chambers and include a discussion with Columbus City Councilwoman Priscilla Tyson, who will share insights about the common interests and challenges among Columbus and Bexley. The retreat will reconvene at 8 a.m. March 2 at Dawes Arboretum.

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