Rocky Fork Enterprise

Mill Street right of way

LGI to return with alternative facade design

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A makeover is in progress for a Mill Street building that recently came under scrutiny by Gahanna City Council and the Gahanna Planning Commission.

Development director Anthony Jones told council committee members Feb. 11 that an alternative facade is being designed for 73-77 Mill St.

Council and commission members were at odds regarding an 18-inch right-of-way encroachment for the building being renovated by Lew Griffin, of LGI Building LLC.

Council member Brandon Wright questioned the time frame for the renovation, saying scaffolding is hindering access to neighboring businesses.

Jones said the final design is in process.

"It's costing him (Griffin) every day it's delayed," he said. "I talked to Lew today, and he said he should have information to me soon. I think with the level of scrutiny, it's appropriate this comes back to committee."

Council member Karen Angelou said council should be accommodating if it has any way to expedite the matter.

Griffin previously told council and the commission he wanted an attractive building in which he could take pride.

In other discussion, city engineer Karl Wetherholt requested legislation to complete the design for Hamilton Road Central. The project involves rebuilding Hamilton Road from the bridge over Rocky Fork Creek to Johnstown Road, widening it to five lanes.

Gahanna has been working with the Franklin County engineer's office on the project for many years, Wetherholt said.

It will be 80 percent funded by MORPC-attributable federal funds, and the local match will be split between Gahanna and Franklin County.

The design work has been ongoing since mid-2011 and is all locally funded, but it must follow the ODOT process to meet the federal design standards.

Wetherholt said ODOT only recently set the final requirements for the design, so the last portion of the design is ready to be completed.

MS Consultants has submitted the fee proposal for the work, which would cost $60,191.

Roughly $180,000 was appropriated in the 2013 annual appropriation for the project, Wetherholt said. The remainder would be used for appraisals required for right-of-way acquisition.

He said it's necessary to complete the design work so the right-of-way acquisition process could begin in early summer.

The ODOT is requiring a right-of-way public-involvement open-house meeting to inform the property owners that would be affected by the Hamilton Road Central project. The meeting is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Northeast School, 500 Hamilton Road.

Officials from ODOT, the Franklin County engineer's office and Gahanna will be available to answer questions about the project.

If all goes well, Wetherholt said, construction could begin in early 2015, with completion in early 2017.

In other council discussion, finance director Jennifer Teal presented a 2012 annual financial overview. She said 2012 marked a year of unprecedented planning and transparency among council, the administration and city residents.

"A key component of this was a commitment to improving the city's financial documents and processes to increase transparency and ease of understanding for all involved," Teal said.

The annual overview for year ending Dec. 31, 2012, provides a condensed presentation of city finances, focusing on the general fund, which is the primary operating fund for the city.

The complete report is online at gahanna.gov, financial publications.

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