Grove City is looking to save money by joining a countywide radio system rather than constructing its own new one.
On Monday, Nov. 4, City Council unanimously voted to authorize City Administrator Chuck Boso to enter into a multi-year cooperative agreement with Franklin County for the use of a new digital radio system.
Deputy City Administrator Bill Vedra said the Grove City's current analog public safety radio system was built in 1992, but it is now out-of-date and no longer supported because newer systems are going digital.
"There now exists a national standard for which radio systems are built," he said.
Vedra said the city's system needs replacing, but the cost of doing so on its own would be about $2 million. Joining with the county on this venture is expected to cut that cost by about 75 percent.
"There will be no issues with coverage or our ability to communicate," Vedra said. "I don't see any (down side)."
As part of the agreement, the county will build a system and equipment shelter "at/on" the Grove City water tower at 5320 Discovery Drive. The city will pay a subscription fee of $5 per radio per month beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said the city would still be doing its own dispatching.
"It's a win-win," he said.
In other news from Monday night's City Council meeting:
* Council approved a development plan submitted by Tosoh SMD Inc. to build a 67,000 square foot building addition to accommodate the company's expanded operation of manufacturing sputtering targets for semiconductors at its facility at 3600 Gantz Road.
According to a staff report from the city's development department, all proposed work will be located east and north of the current facility and will not involve the addition of any additional curb cuts on Gantz.
The approval came with three stipulations recommended by the Grove City Panning Commission: the submission of a landscape plan for approval; the lowering of a parapet wall from the proposed 36 feet, 2 inch height to no higher than 35 feet, or the acquisition of a zoning variance for the height from the city's Board of Zoning Appeals; and matching any wall-mounted light fixtures to fixtures on the existing building and shielding them to direct light up or downward.
The $15 million expansion is expected to create 16 additional jobs.
* Two checks were presented at Monday's meeting.
Sean McKibben, president and COO of Mount Carmel West, presented a check for $495 to Greg Winslow of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. The money was raised at the third annual Mount Carmel Up and Away 5k, held in August alongside the Balloons & Tunes hot air balloon festival.
"It's a great opportunity to donate to such a worthy organization," Mckibben said.
Winslow said because of donations, volunteers and community partners, the foodbank has been able to increase its buying power.
"For every dollar donated, we're able to buy $11 worth of groceries," he said.
The Parks and Recreation Department also received a check. Southern Columbus CrossFit, located at 3341-B Centerpoint Drive, presented a check for $3,000 that the gym raised Oct. 12, with "Sweating for Scholarships," an exercise event to raise money for the Grove City Parks and Recreation Youth Sports Scholarship program.
The program sponsors youth 18 years and younger from financially-limited families in youth sports programs by offering fee reductions to those meeting eligibility guidelines.
* Stage swore in the final three members of the newly created Grove City Historical Commission.
Created to replace the city's vacant Department of History by a vote of council on Sept. 3, the commission is charged with investigating, researching and maintaining the city's history for "educational enhancement, preservation of records, and the collection, preservation and display of artifacts and archival materials of historic importance." The commission also will serve as the liaison between the city and other historical groups.
Stage previously appointed Jim and Linda Hale to the commission. Sworn in at Monday's council meeting were Lisa Napier Garcia, Karen Lane and Jackson Township Administrator Mike Lilly.