A look ahead
Officials predict 2013 to be a year of changes
The year 2013 is expected to bring changes to Pickerington and Violet Township, some perhaps more noticeable than others, but changes nonetheless.
Here is a look at what area officials believe might be in store for this coming year:
Downtown Pickerington will be hosting a Farmer's Market every Thursday, beginning June 6 and running through September.
The event, sponsored by the Olde Pickerington Village Business Association, will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. in the old bus lot on the corner of N. Center Street and Town Square Drive at a site that is currently used for public parking.
"People are more health-conscious, so it's nice to provide this to the community right here in our backyard," said Sandy Melillo a business association representative.
Melillo said customers seeking fresh produce can also expect to purchase jams, jellies and baked goods as well.
The introduction of the city's newest Farmer's Market, however, means the end of several other traditional OPVBA-sponsored events.
Eliminated this year are the Cruise-In, History Hop and Market Days so the association can focus on making the Farmer's Market a success.
The Olde Village Beanfest, which saw its successful debut last November, will be back again in September.
Festival-goers might be enjoying a new venue for the annual Pickerington Violet Festival in 2013 as festival organizers continue to investigate the feasibility of moving the four-day event from Victory Park to the more expansive Sycamore Park.
The Violet Festival Board is expected to submit a "Community Event" packet to the city in the next few months in order to get approval for the move.
Skating and ice hockey enthusiasts will have an opportunity in the winter of 2013 to frolic again on the city-sponsored outdoor ice rink in Victory Park, however, only if Mother Nature cooperates.
"We're not going to think about putting it up until we can see (that) it's going to get cold for a while," said Ed Drobina, city service department manager.
Pickerington has appropriated $100,000 to pay legal fees that will be used towards re-writing its zoning code, a project expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
"The city will be comprehensively revising its entire Land Use and Development regulations to actively reflect Pickerington's growing reputation as a local government committed to the efficient and customer-friendly accommodation of new responsible development proposals and to entice many more outside investments in our growing regional economy," said Bill Vance, Pickerington city manager.
Vance said 2013 will be a busy one for the city, with numerous development and Capital Improvement Projects on the agenda.
He said Pickerington's Development Services staff will be processing site plan applications associated with OhioHealth's first phase of a $40 million medical campus development on Refugee Road.
"They did purchase 57 acres of land in the city and we are expecting their project to move forward next year," said Joe Henderson, Pickerington development services director.
In addition to the projected expansion of the Leisure Road pump station in 2013 to handle increased waste water flows from OhioHealth, Vance said city officials also plan on moving forward with the installation of a bypass line to divert water treatment reverse osmosis from going to Pickerington's Wastewater Treatment Plant.
"The city's $2 million Reverse Osmosis water-treatment system was installed by the city in 2010/2011 and is functioning fine," Vance said.
"An existing storm-sewer main line will be re-lined to enhance the stability of this key component of Pickerington's storm sewer infrastructure which serves many commercial and residential properties located along (state Route) 256," he said.
Vance said another priority for 2013 will be moving the Route 256 Safety Project (planned for 2015) design efforts forward.
He said he also anticipates a lot of staff time will be devoted to the proposed Four Seasons indoor soccer complex on Gray Drive if that project is approved in 2013.
He said the city has also "planned a 2013/2014 (Sycamore Creek) bank stabilization project adjacent to Shawnee Crossings subdivision."
New business construction in 2013 includes Midas, which is building a 5,214 square-foot facility on the northwest corner of Diley Road.
Other projects slated to be completed in 2013 are the Tide Dry Cleaners, 670 Hill Road North Medical Offices and Grace Fellowship Church on Refugee Road.
Violet Township will see additional improvements to the new Busey Road Park in 2013.
Township Administrator Bill Yaple said the township "just got notification of a $20,000 plus grant" from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
The grant money will pay for the installation of a walking shelter and paved paths in the park.
Yaple said he expects "normal paving operations" for the township in 2013 will cost between $700,000 and $800,000.
He said the Violet Township Fire Department has an emergency squad on order for 2013, but otherwise he expects normal expenditures for the fire department's replacement of equipment and no new staffing additions.
"We're at an even keel right now so we're just trying to maintain," Yaple said.
He said the township won't be scrambling to find a place to store salt surpluses, at least for the first half of 2013.
"American Rock Salt is going to hold it up to six more months," said Yaple, adding that while no total dollar amount has been quoted for the storage, "it's cheaper than providing outside storage and then having to cover it. We would be mandated to cover it."
Township Engineer Greg Butcher said one of the largest projects on the agenda for township in 2013 is the Violet Township Elementary School Safe Routes to School Project, which will involve constructing "a little over one-mile of new sidewalk within the Chevington Village subdivision to connect to Violet Elementary School."
Butcher said Trucco Construction of Delaware, Ohio, was the lowest bidder for the project at $256,000, well under the grant amount of $295,000.
"We have about $40,000 for construction administration and inspection which we'll administer in-house," Butcher said.