There's a lot heading Grove City's way in the future.
On Tuesday morning, Oct. 8, at the the Grand Oaks Events Center, Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage presented the State of City address. Among those in attendance were members of Grove City Council, city administrators, Jackson Township officials, Franklin County officials and other community members.
"We've had a great year in getting recognition for the great things going on in Grove City," said Stage, citing Grove City's designation Ohio Magazine's Best Hometown of Central Ohio for 2012-13 and similar recognition in other publications.
Stage also discussed the findings of this year's community satisfaction survey in which 87 percent of respondents said they felt Grove City was heading in the right direction and 78 percent said they felt were city officials were doing a good job planning for the future.
"We feel real good about how our citizens feel," Stage said.
Stage said Grove City has benefited from several partnerships, including those with South-Western City Schools, Jackson and Pleasant townships, the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Public Libraries, its corporate citizens and service groups.
In 2012, Stage said, Keep Grove City Beautiful picked up seven tons of litter and e-waste, the Tree Commission planted 817 trees, the YMCA had 375,000 visitors and there were 250,000 uses of city Parks and Recreation programs.
Stage also said that from 2008 to 2011, Grove City ranked first in central Ohio for the number of new homes being built, falling below Dublin in 2012.
"As of July 2013, we're back to No. 1," Stage said. "You have to watch the residential component carefully. It's a barometer of how the economy will move forward."
While the Pizzuti Cos.' redevelopment of the Town Center and the planned new Grove City Public Library continue to move forward, Stage said there are number of upcoming projects: construction on White Road and Orders Road, the planned green energy center being built by Team Gemini, the development of Demorest Park, parkland acquisition and leisure trail expansion
Stage said the city also has developed a conceptual framework for what it wants to see in a redevelopment of Beulah Park: residential use, some commercial use and a lot of green and park space.
"That's available online," Stage said. "We have a lot more discussions to have."
The State of the City address also featured comments from state state Sen. Jim Hughes (R-Columbus) and former Grove City mayor and now state Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City).
"We have some major issues ahead of us" at the Statehouse, Grossman said. "This next month is going to be extremely busy for us as we churn through a lot of different things."
Among those issues Grossman said the Ohio House of Representatives would considering soon were Medicaid expansion, finding sustainable funding options of infrastructure, reducing higher education costs, finding incentives to keep Ohio college graduates in the state and using credits of home renovations for seniors and the physically challenged.
"We need to continually update and revise how we best serve the people of Ohio," Grossman said. "What we need to work is have input from each of you."
U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Columbus) was scheduled to appear in person at the State of City but was called away the day before to Washington, D.C. Stivers spoke briefly via Skype.
"The government shutdown got in the way," Stivers said. "Washington could learn a thing or two about working together from Grove City."
Stivers said there are number of Democrats and Republicans working to try to end the federal government shutdown soon.
"Our leadership is not working together well, but a lot of rank-and-file members are trying to get something done," he said.