Olentangy Valley News

Aggregation joins township rec center on fall ballot


Orange Township residents will decide in November whether they want a new community center and whether to allow the board of trustees to pursue energy aggregation.

Voters will see a 1.4-mill, 29-year bond issue on the fall ballot to build a community center after the board finalized the issue with a vote Monday, July 21.

The 89,000-square-foot, two-story community center would feature community rooms, banquet halls, health and fitness equipment, a gymnasium, aquatic facilities and more than 200 programs, officials said.

It likely would be located north of Lewis Center Road and east of the railroad tracks.

The bond issue, which would raise $27 million, would cost homeowners about $53 annually per $100,000 in property value.

The Nov. 4 vote finally will end the decade-long discussion about a community center.

"I just look forward to November and seeing if the community wants it or not," Trustee Debbie Taranto said.

Voters also will decide whether to give the board of trustees the authority to explore energy aggregation.

If voters approve, trustees can consider energy aggregation programs that potentially could save residents and the township up to 25 percent on energy bills.

Energy consulting company Trebel LLC works with several municipalities in Delaware County to save money on energy costs for residents, businesses and government.

"This could actually be really significant for us," Taranto said. "The examples we've seen that Trebel has given us are 15 to 25 percent off your electric bill. It's a huge savings and it's worth looking at."

Once voters approve authority for the trustees, they can negotiate with Trebel for the best plan. Residents are not obligated to participate in the aggregation program. Residents are able to opt out of the program without any consequences or without paying penalties.

"If it works out that we don't have a savings, then we just don't do it. We walk away from it," Taranto said.

New speed limits

Also at this week's meeting, the board set speed limits for various roads around commercial subdivisions in the township.

Limits on Graphics Way, Green Meadows Drive and North Central Drive will now be set to 35 mph effective immediately.

Trustees received notice that there were no speed-limit signs when business owners complained about street racing on the roads. Since there were no set speed restrictions, police could not accurately enforce the law.

"There was an argument whether it was a private street or if the speed limit was 55 mph," said Trustee Rob Quigley.

The board passed a resolution to put up 35 mph signs on those three roads.

Raises for workers

Trustees have reached a collective bargaining agreement for the township's employees.

Starting Jan. 1, the four township workers will receive a 2 percent raise as part of the agreement.

Taranto said negotiations regarding the collective bargaining agreement went smoothly.

Trustees meet next at 7 p.m. Aug. 4 at Town Hall, 1680 E. Orange Road.