Rarey: Sidewalks need to be repaired, replaced
Groveport City Councilman Ed Rarey thinks it past time for the city to pay attention to its sidewalks.
"We have had a number of sidewalk programs in the past and they haven't been attended to over time," he said at council's June 24 meeting. "Our sidewalks are in poor condition and we've had people walking in the evenings that stumble over raised bits of sidewalk and cracks. We're fortunate that any and all injuries have been taken care of by the residents.
"We've talked about this issue for quite some time and we need to move past just talk."
City Administrator Marsha Hall said the programs Rarey referred to were put in place to deal with specific sections of sidewalk and that is why those have not been revisited.
"However, since then, our public works crews have been replacing sidewalks that need it, that already exist, and when we completely reconstruct a street and have available right of way, then we have added sidewalks," Hall said.
She also said the city is still working with the federal Safe Routes to School program through the Ohio Department of Transportation to address sidewalk and safety issues in regard to schoolchildren walking along Wirt and Henderon roads.
"The engineers have to approve our plans and we should know that in the next three months," Hall said. "Then they'll come out and do the inspections to decide yes or no, and if they say yes, we'll likely have to decide if Wirt or Henderon is the priority due to the budget.
"Henderon will probably get the priority, since it leads to the elementary school and that rates higher on the Safe Routes to School listing," she added.
"But there is some canal land that goes through Wirt Road and there's funding for multiuse paths for the canal lands that might be available for that."
Rarey said he is specifically concerned about the safety of children walking and bicycling, and the safety of older residents. He said he hopes the combination of multiuse path funds, Safe Routes to School funds and a new plan to be developed by city council will increase the number of new sidewalks in the city.
Council voted to add the issue to the next Committee of the Whole meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Monday, July 15, at the Municipal Building, 655 Blacklick St.