The year brought change for Gahanna, from successful passage of a long-sought-after increase in the city income-tax rate to the election of a new mayor, as well as improvements within the Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools. Here's a look at the top five stories of the year:
TAX TIME -- After the defeat of an income tax-rate increase issue in November 2018, a citizens-led group called Gahanna Residents Improving Tomorrow was formed and asked council to place the same initiative before voters in May. Council obliged, and voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 12, changing the income-tax rate from 1.5% to 2.5% and increasing the tax credit from 83.33% to 100% for those who pay municipal taxes elsewhere.
MAYOR JADWIN -- After serving one term as mayor of Gahanna, Tom Kneeland decided not to seek reelection this fall. Laurie Jadwin, the executive director of the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau since 2013, won her bid for the job, defeating Ryan Jolley in November.
NEW DIGS -- Instead of building a new headquarters for its fire-department administration, Mifflin Township chose to purchase the operations center of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 101 S. Stygler Road, to be fiscally prudent. About 35 township employees, including most of the fire administration, were set to move into the building.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION -- Some Gahanna-Jefferson schools received renovations this summer, thanks to a 1.22-mill bond issue voters approved in May 2018. A 4.28-mill continuing (permanent) operating levy was approved at the same time, for a total of 5.5 mills, to finance a new elementary school on Helmbright Drive to replace Lincoln Elementary School. The new school is scheduled to open in the fall 2021 next to Gahanna Middle School South.
MILL STREET MATTER -- Metropolitan Holdings proposed an apartment development along Mill Street near Creekside. The process was scrutinized, and the developer discussed plans with both city council and the planning commission. The development proposes 129 apartments for 2.3 acres on the east and west sides of Mill Street, south of Carpenter Road and at the northern boundary of the Creekside development.