The city of Grandview Heights has reached an agreement to purchase a vacant, 4.32-acre plot in the 1200 block of McKinley Avenue in Columbus.
The city purchased the land, on the north side of the road just south of Interstate 670, at a cost of about $1.15 million from Kohr Royers and Griffith, said Bob Dvoraczky, Grandview's director of finance.
"We've been talking on and off about if we could find a suitable site that is close to the city for the potential of moving the service department," he said. "This site works well and it's close to the city. It will free up a couple acres at the corner of Goodale and Grandview (current site of the service department) that we will be able to use for other city facilities."
Along with the service department offices, the "parks" part of the city's parks and recreation department will move to the new site, said Mayor Ray DeGraw.
"We'll be able to move and store our parks vehicles and equipment there," he said. "The community center and recreational activities will remain on Goodale."
The city's purchase is expected to close Friday, Oct. 27, Dvoraczky said.
A new service department building should be open by the end of 2018, DeGraw said.
With the land purchase finalized, the city can begin to develop a plan to address its facility needs, he said.
The process will include not only considering what new buildings or improvements to existing facilities are needed, but also to seek input from residents about their views on the community's facilities needs and desires.
"Certainly, we are aware of the issues we have with all of our facilities, including the police station, the fire station, City Hall and the Grandview Center building," DeGraw said.
"We've done the best we can with maintaining those buildings and making sure our employees work in safe conditions," he said.
In recent years, the city has addressed many of its infrastructure needs, completing road- and sewer-improvement projects, upgrading city parks and building a new municipal pool.
Now the city can turn its attention to the buildings that house its core municipal operations, DeGraw said.
He said he has asked the parks advisory board to head up the facilities-assessment process.
"They have that experience working through our parks and pool projects," DeGraw said.
A few other people with appropriate backgrounds and experience also may be brought on board, he said.
"We may need to change to title of the board to 'parks and facilities,' " DeGraw said.