Residents railing about roundabouts were overheard often enough this year at both coffee shops around town and Hilliard City Council chambers that they just had to be ThisWeek's No. 1 pick in the top 5 storylines of 2017.
ROUND AND ROUND — After the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission flagged three local roundabouts – two of which form "the Triangle" on Main Street – for their high crash rates, Hilliard officials resolved to hire engineering firm Burgess & Niple to determine possible modifications. One problem: Burgess & Niple designed them in the first place.
More than a few residents and Hilliard City Council members criticized the decision to hire the same firm but City Council ultimately voted in March to do so. After a six-month study, an initial report was presented in October but no action has been taken. Just give it time.
SEND ANDY OVER — Hilliard school board President Andy Teater launched a campaign for Hilliard City Council and was the top vote-getter in both the Republican primary in May and the general election in November.
His campaign success came in the wake of his support of Issue 9, a charter amendment to prohibit City Council from rezoning by emergency and from using tax-increment-financing agreements for residential developments or those with residential components.
DORA'S DEBUT — The city instituted a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, or DORA, as permitted by Ohio Revised Code, in Old Hilliard.
On 12 dates from June 8 to Aug. 12, patrons at select events held in or around Hilliard's Station Park were permitted to consume alcohol while walking around Old Hilliard and to four approved establishments that could sell it.
MISSING MONEY — The Hilliard Division of Police announced in November an ongoing investigation into the the theft of cash from admission fees collected at the city's two pools.
Heather Ernst, the former deputy director of the Hilliard Recreation and Parks Department, was charged with theft in office Dec. 22. The story continues to unfold.
BUILDING UP — Hilliard City Schools leaders announced that construction of the new Hilliard Memorial Middle School, which is scheduled to open in August 2018, would allow them to repurpose two buildings, thereby expanding the McVey Innovative Learning Center campus to three facilities, including the Innovative Learning Hub at the former Hilliard Station Sixth Grade School.