Voters will choose between Melissa Albright and Michael Uhrin for city council's open ward 3 seat Nov. 3.

Voters will choose between Melissa Albright and Michael Uhrin for city council's open ward 3 seat Nov. 3.

They also will choose either Steve Bennett or Warren Gard for the open at-large seat.

Ward 1 candidate Ted Berry is unopposed.

Candidates have responded via e-mail to several questions since mid-September.

The following is summary of their responses.

Melissa Albright

Albright, 40, is the president of a six-year-old company called Flooring Foundations.

She said she's running "to bring new ideas and a new perspective" to council's decisions.

She supports the lumberyard redevelopment plan and said downsizing the project by $5-million will reduce the risk of the development venture to the city.

Original lumberyard plans involved a $16-million investment from the city. Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage requested in early September that the project be shrunk by about $5-million.

She said South-Western City Schools are of "vital importance" to Grove City.

She said she supports spending taxpayer dollars to educate the community about a school levy if "it is an effort to save countless jobs and the expense is outweighed by the benefit to be gained in income tax generated for the city."

Albright said she would like to see the area near the Interstate 71, state Route 665 interchange be developed for retail when a $34-million makeover project for the interchange is completed in 2011. Specifically, she said she would like to see a book store and Panera Bread restaurant locate to the area.

She said she would like to see the old Grovebrook Golf Course site at Hoover Road, south of Holton Road, be developed into a business park with recreational areas nearby.

Albright also would like to see the completion of a multi-season shelter at Rotary Lake in Fryer Park.

She said the Grove City Rotary Club and Fraternal Order of Eagles have donated about $150,000 for the shelter.

Council members will vote on an ordinance Nov. 2 to appropriate $25,000 for design costs of the shelter.

She said she does not support the move of the Grove City Library now because of the financial problems faced by Southwest Public Libraries, the system of libraries that includes the Grove City Library.

Michael Uhrin

Uhrin, 64, is the current at-large councilman. He works as a consultant for school districts in areas of finance, student registration and technology.

He ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the South-Western school board in 2002.

He said he supports redevelopment and revitalization of the town center, but has reservations about Stage's lumberyard plans.

He supports spending city taxes to fund an effort to educate citizens on the impact of a failed levy.

He said he would like to see the I-71, Route 665 area develop into a business park for clean-energy companies.

He also would like to see the Grovebrook Golf Course site preserved in its natural state with some active recreational areas.

Also, Uhrin said he knows constituents in ward 3 would like to see an adult pool and dog park.

He said he sees the city as a possible partner in helping the library expand at its current site.

He added, however, with the library's current money problems, he would not support the financial risk on the city.

Steve Bennett

Bennett, 55, has been the president of Bennett-Edgar Insurance Agency Inc. for 25 years. He served a two-year term as at-large councilman from 1996 to 1998, and a four-year ward 3 term from 1998 to 2002.

He said he is running this year because he "would like to pick up where (he) left off and improve Fryer Park to get better restroom facilities and more playground equipment."

Bennett opposes the lumberyard project and a proposal to move the library there.

He said, however, he would like to see affordable retail space added to the town center.

The roughly 3.5-acre space behind city hall slated as the site of lumberyard plans would be better suited as a park, he added.

He said he thinks it unwise to spend city tax dollars to promote South-Western City Schools levies. He said Grove City is just one portion of the school district.

The city should support the school district in other ways, he added.

Bennett said the northwest side of the I-71, Route 665 interchange would be suited for a "multi-use strip mall."

As far as future capital improvement projects, he said he would like to see stretches of road at White and McDowell roads widened, as well as London-Groveport Road between Hoover Road and state Route 104.

Warren Gard

Gard, 60, has called himself a "vocal opponent" of the lumberyard project for the past year.

"From what (residents) have told me, I believe that the lumberyard project needs a developer that will spend their own dime," he said. "The garage needs to go away."

Gard does not support using public funds on any levy.

Elected officials have the right to individually endorse levies, he added.

He said he would like to see clean-energy businesses develop in the I-71, Route 665 area.

He gave examples of businesses that would manufacture solar panels, geothermal technology and infrastructure for harvesting wind power.

Gard's desired capital projects involve establishing a city fund that would help maintain businesses along Broadway and Stringtown Road west of I-71.

Also, he said he would like to see the town center improved based on a plan by architect and city planner Frank Elmer of Lincoln Street Studio, Columbus.

As far as the library move, Gard said it was never a "viable idea, nor was the $8-million pricetag."

ebrooks@thisweeknews.com