Hilliard Northwest News

Flashing light to be installed at Cosgray trail crossing

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Pedestrians and cyclists using the Heritage Trail should benefit after a flashing light is installed to remind motorists on Cosgray Road to yield to those crossing the street.

The project should be completed by the end of the summer if the city is able to obtain a bid within an acceptable range of the city engineers' estimate of $83,200, Service Director Butch Seidle said.

Legislation authorizing Seidle to solicit bids and contract for the project was introduced at the July 14 meeting of the city planning, projects and services committee.

Later the same evening, City Council approved the resolution as an emergency measure in advance of its summer recess to allow the project to move forward.

The project will be funded almost entirely by the Ohio Department of Transportation as part of a highway-safety project, Seidle said.

The estimated cost of the noneligible portions of the project for which the city is financially responsible will be about $9,100, Seidle said.

The city is expected to open bids Aug. 7.

"This is something we've needed and will be fantastic to have," said Councilman Albert Iosue, chairman of the city planning, projects and services committee.

In other committee business July 14, legislation was introduced authorizing Recreation and Parks Director Steve Mazer to contract with Edsall & Associates to prepare a comprehensive parks and public-spaces master plan.

Hilliard will pay Edsall & Associates $198,514 to deliver a completed master plan by Aug. 1, 2015.

The city last revisited a master plan for the recreation and parks department in 1993.

"We feel comfortable and confident in choosing Edsall & Associates," Mazer said.

He said the company did not appear to have a focus, such as a natatorium as some other companies suggested, but seemed more willing to start from scratch.

"They stressed wanting to have charettes with kids in the schools who use our programs (and) were adamant about getting input from all our community organizations," Mazer said.

The master plan will include not only recommendations for renovating or building a new community center, but best uses for all 24 recreation and parks facilities, particularly the city's "pocket parks," small parks in some of the city's neighborhoods and subdivisions

"We need a solution for what to do with our pocket parks," Mazer said.

A resolution authorizing the contract is expected to be considered Aug. 25 by City Council, the first scheduled meeting after it returns from summer recess.

Committee members also forwarded a resolution, approved by City Council later in the evening July 14 as emergency legislation, declaring easements for Columbus to provide water service to city-owned property in Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park.

The easement must be in place, Seidle said, so work can commence if and when Bo Jackson's Elite Sports signs a lease to construct a proposed $5.5-million, 114,000-square-foot athletics facility.

"This does not bind the city in any way, it just makes sure we're ready for (the permit to install) process when a lease is signed," Seidle said.

Lastly, Mazer requested the administration prepare draft legislation to provide for the ability to host food trucks on city-owned land.

Current legislation regulating pushcarts and vendors require background checks and specify permitted locations and times.

Mazer said he would like a more fluid policy for scheduled food-truck events.

Law Director Tracy Bradford said she would prepare draft legislation for consideration Aug. 25.

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