Dublin Villager

State of the City

Address touts city's successes, plans for 2013

Officials look forward to final phase of parkway project and arrival of Presidents Cup

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

One of Dublin's iconic business brands opened the doors of its new conference center last week to showcase the accomplishments of 2012 and look into the future.

Dublin's March 14 State of the City address, the first event to be held at the Wendy's Thomas Conference Center, highlighted Dublin at home and on the global stage.

Mayor Tim Lecklider kicked off the presentations, talking about 2012 accomplishments that included Wendy's returning its headquarters to Dublin, the completion of the Bridge Street District code and rezoning and Ohio University bringing a medical campus to the city.

Lecklider also discussed his trip to Ireland, which was scheduled to begin March 15.

Dublin was asked to participate in a meeting of Dublins from around the world by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland.

"He wanted to reach out and collect the towns of Dublin big and small," Lecklider said, adding he hoped to establish economic and cultural relationships on the trip.

City Manager Marsha Grigsby looked at the coming year, noting that a survey set to be released to city council members April 8 shows eight of 10 residents think Dublin is an excellent place to live.

Projects on tap to further improve the city include roundabouts planned for the intersections of Hyland-Croy and Brand roads and Coffman and Brand roads.

"We heard from residents a strong validation of roundabouts," Grigsby said of survey results.

The final phase of Emerald Parkway is set to be started in 2013, Grigsby said, extending the road to Bright Road where it ultimately will connect to Hard Road.

Work to update the community plan also will be completed in 2013, and the city will use its website to inform residents of proposed changes. Feedback also will be taken online and the first webcast on the community plan update was slated for 11:30 a.m. March 20.

More work on the Interstate 270/U.S. Route 33 interchange will be done this year, although Grigsby said construction won't start until 2015 at the earliest.

"We're working with ODOT to move forward with design and environmental studies," she said, noting that the preferred alternative for the first phase that will take northbound I-270 traffic to U.S. Route 33 westbound has been chosen.

The preferred route will help determine funding and could help push forward construction on the interchange that has had no significant work done on it since it was built in the late 1960s.

"It was a very rewarding afternoon to know something we have been working on is moving forward," Grigsby said.

Dublin has received some bad news in 2013 as Verizon Wireless plans to move 1,500 jobs to Hilliard next year.

"We try to look at this as an opportunity," Grigsby said. "This can bring new jobs into the region."

Verizon currently occupies two buildings along I-270 and Grigsby said the economic development staff is committed to filling those buildings.

"This gives us the opportunity to diversify our workforce," she said.

Officials also discussed the upcoming Presidents Cup that is expected to bring thousands to Dublin in October.

"I think this will be one of those events that leaves a mark on Dublin for many years to come," Grigsby said.

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