Groveport officials are in discussions with AEP about providing power to city-owned property near Main and Front streets for a new development.
Last November, Groveport City Council approved legislation to trade small pieces of canal land with adjacent property owners to create two, more uniformly shaped parcels. At that time, Law Director Kevin Shannon said this would be beneficial for potential future developments.
The site is on the north side of Main Street, east of Front, across from the elementary school.
"We received a large grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, who were trying to rid themselves of those canal lands. There's been interest in trying to redevelop that northeast corner," Shannon said.
It appears now that redevelopment may occur later this year.
According to City Administrator Marsha Hall, the discussions with AEP are for work related to a potential business development and public parking lot being pursued jointly by the city and an as-yet-unnamed developer.
"I can't really discuss the Main Street project yet other than to say that we have a business owner who is interested in locating one of his businesses on the property that the city owns east of Front Street," Hall said. "We're currently working with him as he determines his final costs and obtains financing."
Hall said it is the developer's desire to begin the project this year.
"If all goes OK, he will build yet this year. At the same time, we would be constructing a public parking area behind his business. AEP is involved because we are working with them to relocate some power lines that serve that property," she said.
Hall said the city will move ahead with relocating the electric lines regardless of what happens with the unnamed developer "because anything that goes in there -- even a public parking lot -- will require the electric to be moved.
"Should the development not move forward for some reason, we will go back to council to decide whether to go ahead and construct the parking area," Hall said. "There are no other utilities needed for the development. When Main Street was reconstructed earlier, there were water and sewer taps installed at that site. Phone and gas are also right along Main Street."
During the Feb. 11 council meeting, Councilman Ed Rarey asked the city staff about the status of AEP's work relating to sporadic power outages, which led to the discussion of the Main Street project.
"The eastern part of the village, starting at College Street and going over to the Dairy Queen seems to get hit often with lights going off," Rarey said. "This goes southeast down to the cemetery, too."
Hall said she and Assistant City Administrator Jeff Green met with AEP representatives to discuss the Main Street project and rerouting the necessary lines for the potential development; however, she said the issues Rarey discussed were unrelated and would be dealt with separately.
"When (Green) and I met with AEP, we did mention your concerns and they are looking into that separately," Hall said.