West Side News

Grove City slates $32 million for improvement projects

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Grove City is looking to put more than $32 million next year toward capital improvements.

At a special meeting on Monday, Oct. 29, City Council discussed the preliminary list of 2013 and 2014 capital improvement projects submitted by the city's administration. The final list will be approved by council as part of the current budget process for fiscal year 2013.

The proposed plan calls for $14.9 million from the general fund to be used for capital projects. An additional, $17.5 million would come from other funding sources, including the water and sewer funds, permit licenses, bond, the Pinnacle tax-increment financing district fun and property assessments.

"That still has to go through the budget process," said City Administrator Chuck Boso. "It's up to council to approve the funding."

The project with the most committed funds to it is the Town Center Improvement and Acquisition Project: $8 million from the general fund plus an additional $4 million from bond revenue.

That money is tied to the forthcoming proposal from Pizzuti Companies, a developer scheduled to present a preliminary downtown development plan to City Council at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 5. Pizzuti is currently negotiating and contracting with a number of downtown property owners, Boso said.

"We believe in (2013) there will be construction of both the public and private element in the downtown region," Boso said. "That's a phased project."

The project from Pizzuti, Boso said, likely will involve a multi-family and commercial development.

City Hall moving?

The plan eventually might include the relocation of City Hall, 4035 Broadway, to the current site of the Southwest Public Library, 3359 Park St.

Boso said the library is looking to expand and upgrade its facilities, and that might involve relocating to allow the City Hall to move onto its site, but nothing has been finalized.

Council President Ted Berry said council would need an additional meeting in November to discuss Pizzuti's proposal and to determine which elements money should go toward and how to finance them.

Other planned capital projects include $2.15 million from the general fund for the annual street program. Public Service Director Les Spring said the city has about 50 streets today that need repair and repaving.

"We probably have $6 million that need to be repaired," he said. "We have many, many streets built in the '70s that were never repaired. ... If you let them go, they cost a little more to fix."

The plan also includes $360,000 toward utility improvements to support restrooms and ball fields at Fryer Park, $550,000 for improvements at Demorest Park and $600,000 for brick improvements in the Town Center, among other projects.

Another projects calls for $350,000 from the general fund to upgrade the police radio tower and equipment. Bill Vedra, deputy city administrator, said the current equipment is nearing the end of its expected life in the next few years, but there's an opportunity now with the state to split the cost evenly to replace it. The total cost to replace it would be $700,000.

Unfunded projects

The list also includes a number of projects that do not have money committed to them: $20 million for a recreation center, $850,000 for lighting at the ball fields of Fryer Park, $300,000 to Big Splash upgrades, $2.75 million for the extension of Park Street through Beulah Park, $3 million for the relocation of Stringtown Road utilities, $4.5 million for improvements to the Interstate 71/Stringtown Road Interchange and more.

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