Like other growing suburban cities, Pickerington has a lot on its plate in 2016.

Like other growing suburban cities, Pickerington has a lot on its plate in 2016.

To focus on safety issues, city officials budgeted for an additional police officer in 2016 to help patrol streets.

City Manager Bill Vance said there still remains work to do to keep safety a priority.

"Pickerington is still five (officers) short of what we need even though 80 cents out of every property and income tax dollar the city receives is now invested in police operations," Vance said.

Infrastructure also was a targeted priority as Pickerington City Council approved a $1 million budget for subdivision street paving for 2016.

"That's the most we will have spent in quite a few years, but it is necessary just to catch up," said Mayor Lee Gray.

Also on deck for 2016 is a $1 million design process for state Route 256-Refugee Road intersection enhancements as well as for a projected middle turn-lane installation and repaving on Refugee Road "to the city's westernmost corporate limit," Vance said.

City Engineer Scott Tourville said the Refugee Road improvements are slated for 2018.

Tourville said other city improvements will include path extensions within Sycamore Park.

Skate enthusiasts will also be happy to know the city will make $50,000 worth of improvements to the Sycamore Park skate park in 2016.

"The skate park gets a lot of use and it's starting to show its 'wear and tear,' " Gray said.

"There are always kids utilizing that park and they're passionate about it," he said. "This will make a big difference."

Gray said a regional partnership called CORE, which is an ancronym for Collaboration on Regional Excellence, will be active with the city and Violet Township looking to continue the collaborative work started in 2015.

He said the goal for 2016 is to find tangible ways in which the city and township can share resources and materials that will help strengthen both entities.

Gray said CORE officials arealso in the process of researching a comprehensive land-use plan.

"CORE will continue to meet," Gray said.

"We talk about any kind of topic that is beneficial to the Pickerington/Violet Township community and how we can work together to move it forward," he said.