Dublin has delayed infrastructure improvements in the area of its planned COIC on the west side of the city, but council candidates on the fall ballot are still largely behind the plans.

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Dublin has delayed infrastructure improvements in the area of its planned COIC on the west side of the city, but council candidates on the fall ballot are still largely behind the plans.

Four council members will run unopposed in the Nov. 3 election.

Vice Mayor Cathy Boring will run for a fifth term as ward 1 representative and Tim Lecklider will seek a third term representing ward 4.

Amy Salay and John Reiner are both seeking third terms in wards 2 and 3, respectively.

Dublin has encountered a few roadblocks in its plans for the western part of the city that includes the COIC (Central Ohio Innovation Center) and the U.S. Route 33, state Route 161 and Post Road interchange, as few annexations into the city have occurred and Marysville was awarded the rights to provide sewer services for part of the area.

But council members remain supportive of the city's long-term plans.

"I think this is a great asset because the city itself has 100 acres of property there and we're waiting on the right tenant to start a research center," Reiner said, adding he hoped other entities would contribute to the U.S. Route 33, state Route 161 and Post Road interchange improvements.

"Will the city spend a ton of money on developing that intersection?" Reiner asked. "Probably not, unless we get the right tenant to justify the tax base. What we're doing is more of a wait and see."

Lecklider said the city has plans for appropriate development in the area.

"I think, first of all, in light of the fact that we would be investing in excess of $50-million in that intersection, that we should rightfully have some influence of development that occurs in the vicinity of that interchange," he said, adding that he will not support big-box retail development.

Lecklider also said that Marysville has little to gain from providing water and sewer services for the area and that Dublin has tried to work with all jurisdictions involved for a solution.

According to Salay, this area has been a long-term focus for the city and development will not be immediate.

"Our focus on this area, north of 161, has always been on pursuing quality development for the area that bordered both Dublin neighborhoods and also the future COIC," she said. "It doesn't make sense to want big-box retail in this area when it could offer the future opportunity for class-A office space that would be both economically and aesthetically superior."

Boring said with the delay of interchange improvements, the city is looking into its options.

"It's yet to be determined," she said. "We're studying it."

The city has seen a decline in income-tax revenue because of the economy, and each council member expressed some concern.

Salay said she is "concerned, but not alarmed" with the decrease in revenue.

"I believe that as the national economy improves our business climate here in Dublin will improve as well. We are fortunate in Dublin to have a diverse group of businesses and corporations, and this diversity will continue to work in our favor in the future," she said, adding that the city has lured business to the area recently, despite the recession.

According to Boring, the city has looked into expenditures to battle the dip in revenue, but maintaining services to the residents is important.

"First off we've always said economic development is our No. 1 priority," she said. "The city manager has already started taking steps to deal with expenditures. We've already looked at and delayed some projects."

Lecklider said he is concerned about the city's declining revenues, but it has given the city a chance to realize efficiencies.

"I guess I'm hopeful, and I suspect most people are, and I would like to think that if there is a recovery that Dublin will recover more quickly than other cities in central Ohio or across the state," he said.

Reiner also had positive thoughts, despite the recession.

"The city's way ahead in this game because we have had a long-term effort to keep our corporate tax base and we're doing incubation startups for young corporations," he said.

Keeping amenities such as a "strong school system," recreation center, green space and bike trails have drawn corporations in the past and will in the future, Reiner said.

With four more years on council awaiting them, each candidate has different focuses for the future.

According to Lecklider, challenges for Dublin in the future include providing services such as parks and trash service, and maintaining a strong business core. He is also excited about green initiatives that help the environment and save the city money.

The city is working on getting or retrofitting vehicles that use a greener fuel, Lecklider said, and "the building department is trying to develop LEED building standards, mostly for the commercial side."

Boring said no opposition for the council seats up for election this fall will provide the city with stability while it works on projects such as the 161 corridor study and green efforts.

"Of course we're making a green effort in the way we look at things; we'll make internal efforts," she said. "We also have the bicycle advisory group. I've been pushing for bike lanes for years."

Boring also said she'll work on setting and maintaining standards to keep Dublin a premier community.

"I'm very proud of the community," she said.

Salay said she's optimistic about the future and happy to serve the community.

"Plans on the horizon include the Bridge Street (and state Route) 161 corridor study and planning effort (and) pursuing quiet zones for the rail corridor that runs along our city's western boundary," she said.

Reiner said he's excited about new corporate partners coming into the city as well as making the city appealing to young professionals.

"We will be creating a more pedestrian friendly town center that will be more attuned to the thinking of younger professionals who are already employed in Dublin," he said.

"One of the things I'm really excited about is the current bicycle planning to lay out and make the town bicycle friendly to move people from home to work on bicycles or from work to lunch areas or downtown dining nodes," he said. "We probably are going to look at making Dublin one of the more progressive cities so that in the future we will have a strong appeal to the younger set that want to be in a more urbanized culture."