Reynoldsburg city officials hope to launch a number of major developments in 2017, including a new Kroger grocery store on East Main Street and a community recreation center on the site of the old Reynoldsburg Swim Club.

Reynoldsburg city officials hope to launch a number of major developments in 2017, including a new Kroger grocery store on East Main Street and a community recreation center on the site of the old Reynoldsburg Swim Club.

To make the latter possible, however, voters must approve a 1-percent city income tax increase on the May 2 ballot, Mayor Brad McCloud said.

"First and foremost for 2017 will be the effort to pass a levy that will allow the construction of a recreation center, to be staffed by the YMCA," he said. "This will be a full-scale grassroots information campaign that if successful, will transform Reynoldsburg."

Development Director Dan Havener called the building of the recreation center "a very important quality of life issue which the Reynoldsburg community needs and expects."

"It also remains one of those considerations both existing and new businesses look favorably upon as an element for the health and wellness of their employees," he said.

Reynoldsburg City Council voted unanimously last month to put the 1-percent income tax increase on the May ballot. If approved by voters, the city income tax rate would increase from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent.

It would generate about $5 million per year for the city, according to City Auditor Richard Harris.

Although Reynoldsburg voters have not approved a city income tax increase since 1983, City Councilman Barth Cotner said this request has a distinct purpose.

"With previous tax issues, there have been many questions and disagreements on how the income tax should be used," he said. "This time, there is the direct goal of building a community recreation facility."

The city is working with the YMCA to design the new recreation center as a partnership. Reynoldsburg would build it on 9.75 acres acquired by the city in March. The site includes the Bingo Hall and old Reynoldsburg Swim Club at 7215 E. Main St. The YMCA would then manage and operate the facility.

Havener said the tax increase would pay for the center's construction, plus infrastructure improvements such as roads and utilities associated with parks and recreation and the senior center.

"The city hopes to receive the community's support at the ballot in May," he said.

Community members are invited to attend the next town hall meeting about the community center, at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Reynoldsburg Municipal Building, 7232 E. Main St.

McCloud said successful city programs would continue in 2017.

"We will return the winter and summer farmers' markets," he said. "Both have been very successful and we look forward to growing both events in 2017.

"We will also seek opportunities to provide activities in our parks, such as outdoor movie nights and the Community Halloween Party, which we conduct with the Reynoldsburg Community Association," he said.

Havener said the new Kroger store would be constructed on 15 acres at the northwest corner of East Main Street and Rosehill Road.

"The new store would be just over 100,000 square feet and include a Turkey Hill gasoline service and eventually a mixed-use facility at the corner of East Main and Rosehill Road," he said. "The timeline, size and uses for this mixed-use facility are still to be determined."

He said roads in the old Reynoldsburg downtown area would be repaved this year and Brice Road improvements would continue.

"The city will continue redevelopment efforts for the Brice Road corridor and I-270/I-70 interchange, with the city of Columbus and local business leaders," Havener said.

Learn more about the proposed center at: http://www.ci.reynoldsburg.oh.us/departments/development/community-center.aspx

Information may also be found on the Facebook page "Proposed Reynoldsburg Community Center YMCA."

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