Road, sewer work among 2013 list of Canal's projects
"Repair, replace and develop" could be Canal Winchester's motto for 2013.
"Canal Winchester has a couple of big projects coming up in the next two calendar years," Mayor Michael Ebert said. "One will see replacement of an old, decaying section of our sanitary sewer and water lines in one of our oldest subdivisions."
A full update of the water system and replacement of streets in Tank Town are scheduled to be completed in 2013. In addition, work on the Gender Road Phase 3 project is scheduled to begin in 2013 and be finished in 2014.
The city will be replacing aging water lines and roads in Tank Town with financing from an Ohio Public Works Commission grant and no-interest loan totaling about $2.2 million. The Tank Town water line replacement and road projects will start in March and continue until an anticipated fall completion, Ebert said.
Much of the water line construction will be done by horizontal drilling, limiting the amount of excavation needed to install the mains, according to Construction Services Administrator Bill Sims.
"The other project will see a roundabout constructed at the intersection of Gender Road and Lithopolis Road," Ebert said. "Anyone traveling this intersection during rush-hour traffic with the school buses knows how badly it backs up both in the morning and evening.
"The construction of the roundabout will help resolve the traffic backup issues by keeping the traffic flowing evenly at all times."
Construction projects are only one part of expected changes in the coming year. Planning and Zoning Administrator Andrew Dutton said updates to Canal Winchester's zoning code to streamline development are already being applied.
"The TS Trim expansion is a big deal. Adding 85,000 square feet to their facilities will bring a lot of jobs," Dutton said. "We're in talks with another one of our local business owners about the building of a new facility which will increase output and employment there as well."
This potential expansion would take place in the Canal Pointe Industrial Park, which was awarded "shovel-ready" certification in 2012, one of only two such sites in central Ohio.
Development Director Lucas Haire said the city has been actively discussing expansion opportunities with the nearly 30 businesses located in the park and will use the certification and new commercial zoning code to market Canal Winchester to businesses.
Besides infrastructure and development, the city welcomed a new finance director, Amanda Jackson, who succeeded Nanisa Osborn.
In addition, a number of city council seats will be up for election this year.
"There will be four council seats up this year: Bobbi Mershon, Steve Donahue, John Bender and Leah Turner," Ebert said. "I'm happy to have Amanda Jackson as our new finance director and look forward to her employment with the city of Canal Winchester for many years."
Ebert said Osborn's retirement and the arrival of Jackson will introduce some change to operations, but and changes on council won't generally affect the daily operations of the city.
Destination: Canal Winchester is looking ahead to 2013 with the possible expansion of hotel partnership programs due to successes in 2011 and 2012 and to enhancing current advertising, according to Executive Director Bruce Jarvis.
"A year ago, we put together a really great video about our city and what all we have to offer here," Jarvis said. "We're working on taking that larger piece and breaking it down into smaller elements for further outreach. We've had success with some of the new signage and we want to build on that, too."
Attendance at city events was up again in 2012, Jarvis said, adding that he hopes to continue to grow those, particularly the Blues and Ribfest.
Both Jarvis and Ebert agree that 2013 looks to be an exciting year for Canal Winchester.
"I've lived here since 1967," Ebert said. "And looking at all we continue to accomplish, well, this is a wonderful community and I wouldn't leave it for anything."