Capital-improvement projects, such as repairing roads and bike paths, adding infrastructure and maintaining city parks, ensure Powell remains a great place to live and grow a business.
City voters approved a $7.1 million renewal bond issue in 2012 to fund a portion of Powell's infrastructure needs. The bond issue took effect in 2014 after an existing park levy expired.
This paid for the Murphy Parkway extension, shared-use path connections, traffic signals, park improvements and repairs.
The final portion of the funds will pay for the first few phases of the Park at Seldom Seen.
Many people question what capital improvements are in a community such as Powell. Just as residents and businesses continue to undertake improvements on their own property -- such as a new roof, water heater or plumbing -- the city also must make important improvements to its infrastructure, such as its aging roads, bike paths, parks and buildings.
As the population continues to grow in Powell, so do the needs for roadway maintenance and improvements.
One significant capital-improvement project in 2016 was the Murphy Parkway extension. The extension serves as another bypass of downtown Powell, improving traffic flow along Olentangy Street.
The city also used funds from the capital-improvement bond to enhance the annual street maintenance program for a couple of years. This helped to improve and repair roads that were overdue for maintenance throughout the city.
Enhancing intersections such as Liberty and Seldom Seen roads, maintaining Sawmill Parkway and neighborhood streets, and adding key connectors in our downtown are critical capital road projects for the future.
Traffic signals are another capital investment. With bond issue dollars, we installed traffic signals at Sawmill Parkway's intersections with Village Club and Galloway drives. These signals cost the city about $241,000. The city also recently installed a signal at Olentangy Street and Grace Drive in order to help traffic move more safely and smoothly through downtown Powell.
Many components of the city's infrastructure -- such as storm drains, building maintenance and information-technology projects -- may not catch residents' eyes, but they require ongoing maintenance and care.
Over the summer, the city repaired and replaced about 50 curb inlets. Concrete surrounding inlets begins to deteriorate over time and often needs attention.
Homeowners and business owners sometimes experience unexpected expenses related to their property. The city faces those same struggles. Last spring, pieces of concrete began falling from our pedestrian tunnel under the railroad tracks that connects Adventure Park and Beechwood Park. When these unexpected expenses arise, they must be taken care of right away.
One of the amenities residents enjoy and appreciate is the city's extensive bike-path network.
This year, we completed a bike-path extension on North Liberty Street to Seldom Seen Road and on the north side of Rutherford Road from Sawmill Parkway west to Tricia Price Drive. We now have around 26 miles of bike paths throughout the city.
The city's development committee is continuing to identify other key bike-path extensions in the community for future construction.
Stay connected with the city of Powell's Capital Improvement Projects Program by visiting our website, cityofpowell.us, or following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Steve Lutz is city manager of Powell.