Olentangy Valley News

Powell City Council race

Hrivnak's push helped city's momentum begin


As vice president of Powell City Council, president of council's development committee and president of the Powell Community Improvement Corp., Jim Hrivnak has been at the center of many of the changes that have occurred in the city over the last eight years.

Hrivnak said he'd like to continue his involvement by asking voters to re-elect him to a third term Nov. 5.

"We've got lots of development plans, annexation requests, continued traffic problems and capital improvements that are underway. The city has got momentum right now," he said. "That momentum started while I was on council and the work that I've been doing is a big part of that momentum, which needs to continue."

Hrivnak is one of seven candidates on the ballot fighting for four open seats. His opponents are fellow council members Sara Marie Brenner, Tom Counts and Brian Lorenz, as well as Francis Bertone, Sarah Minto and Daniel Swartwout.

As president of the council's development committee, Hrivnak has led the process of planning for capital improvements that will be funded via a tax-increment financing district and levy funds. Those improvements include the Murphy Parkway extension and possible bike-path connections and turning lanes at the Four Corners. He's also worked to make the railroad crossing on Powell Road safer by asking council to reduce speed limits near the crossing and to improve warning signs.

Hrivnak said improvements that aren't as glamorous to voters are nonetheless important to him, such as ensuring the city continues to plan for storm sewer and street maintenance.

But his attention to infrastructure and development isn't limited to city projects, Hrivnak said. He also has a vision for how he'd like businesses and housing developments to shape the city.

"The city is going to continue to grow, and I think we want it grow in a fashion that people still can call it small-town Powell," Hrivnak said. "We have to be careful how that happens and I think that type of growth we want, we've been able to target so far."

The Powell CIC, which Hrivnak has headed since its inception in 2010, has had a hand in bringing business to Powell and retaining jobs at current businesses.

Hrivnak said he'd like council to continue to control the growth of the city so that its tax base is best served by businesses that fit the current infrastructure and are beneficial to residents.

The CIC has negotiated job-creation agreements with the Market at Liberty Crossing and Giant Eagle and has collaborated with Aeroflex to retain jobs within the city. Hrivnak credited the CIC with making agreements that swayed AFK Partners, TekOrange and Stump-Bardash to relocate to Powell.

The CIC also created the 44 Center for Business, which serves as an incubator for small businesses.

"The growth of the city is happening in more ways than it did years ago and it's important that we look carefully to make sure any expansion makes economic sense for the city," he said.

Hrivnak, 53, is a senior engineer at Veyance Technologies in Marysville, where he has worked for 31 years. Prior to serving on council, he was a member of the board of zoning appeals and the planning and zoning commission. He is a trustee and treasurer for the Grandshire Homeowners Association.

He and his wife, Pam, have lived in Powell for 14 years. They have two daughters.