Olentangy Valley News

Upgrades will surface in new year thanks to levy funds

Powell voters approved ballot issue in 2012 to pay for capital improvements

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

In November 2012, Powell voters passed a 1.8-mill capital improvement levy, which will go into effect when the city's 1.8-mill parks and recreation levy expires at the end of December.

City officials want residents to know they will start seeing improvements soon -- and they'll have a chance to give input on those improvements even sooner.

The levy will cost homeowners about $55.13 annually per $100,000 in property value and generate about $7.2 million over its 10-year life span.

Projects the city expects to allocate levy funds to in 2014 include the installation of new traffic signals at Sawmill Parkway's intersections with Galloway Drive and Village Club Drive.

City spokeswoman Megan Canavan said the new signals are expected to improve the flow of traffic on the heavily traveled Sawmill Parkway. She said the city does not have an estimated completion date for the project.

"(The installation) should start in early to mid-2014," she said. "That will be one of the first things residents will see from our capital improvement list."

Levy funds also will go toward the planning and design of Seldom Seen Park, which will be located off Seldom Seen Road, between Sawmill Parkway and Liberty Road.

Canavan said the city will schedule public hearings to be held before the winter is over, allowing residents to comment on the park's design and features.

"We really want to get as much public input as we can," she said.

While dates have not yet been set for the public hearings, Canavan said city officials have had preliminary discussions about what features might be included in the park. She said athletic fields and a building with offices and storage space for the city's public service department have been discussed.

Construction work on the park is not expected to start until 2015.

Levy funding also will go toward work on a long-planned project to extend Murphy Parkway, which currently dead-ends just northeast of Liberty Road. The extension will serve as an additional detour around downtown Powell, with the goal of relieving traffic congestion.

"The extension has been discussed for years," Canavan said. "That was one of the first projects that was discussed and approved (for funding) by City Council."

The levy also will boost the city's street maintenance fund from $250,000 in 2013 to $750,000 in 2014 and provide for new walking and bike trails.

Canavan said the expiring levy allowed the city's parks department to pursue improvement projects, while the levy that goes into effect in January will allow the money to be earmarked for a wider range of uses.

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