Violet Township officials said they expect 2020 to be a year to discuss ongoing maintenance of roadways, as well as continued work for the possible construction of a U.S. Route 33 to Interstate 70 connector.

The year that was brought significant transition to Violet Township.

In July, director of operations John Eisel died at age 55 while vacationing with his family in Cumberland, Kentucky.

That was followed by the September departure of 18-year township engineer Greg Butcher, who was hired as Pickerington city manager.

And on Dec. 20, township development director Holly Mattei resigned.

Township officials took what they said they hoped was a step toward renewed stability when longtime Pickerington service director Ed Drobina was hired to become the township's administrator Dec. 18.

As the dust was settling, Violet Township trustee Darrin Monhollen said officials were working to plot a course for 2020.

Although no decisions have been made, the trustees said they expect to soon begin discussions about a funding source for maintaining the township's roads.

"We will consider the renewal of a road levy," Monhollen said. "Our current road levy expires in 2021.

"One hundred percent of all of the proceeds from the current levy have been spent on paving and paving equipment."

In May 2015, local voters approved a five-year, 1.5-mill road levy that generates approximately $770,000 annually for road maintenance, including resurfacing, snow and ice removal, street sign maintenance, culvert maintenance and mowing rights of way.

The township has 105 miles of roadway.

"The five-year road levy approved in 2016 will be set to expire in 2021," Mattei said. "It's anticipated that the township will take steps in 2020 to seek renewal of this 1.5-mill road levy.

"This levy applies to only the unincorporated area of the township and is utilized to maintain its 105 miles of roadway.

In addition to road maintenance, officials expect to continue work with the Fairfield County Transportation Improvement District to study the possible construction of a U.S. Route 33 to I-70 connector, they said.

Prior to her departure, Mattei said the connector is an important project for Violet Township and Fairfield County because the area has seen increased truck traffic. That traffic has been been driven, in part, by the opening of Amazon distribution centers in Etna Township in Licking County.

A U.S. 33 to I-270 connector "would build infrastructure for that truck traffic," Mattei said, and would create economic development opportunities for Violet Township and other municipalities along the connector.

"We are working on a study for a future U.S. 33 to I-70 connector in partnership with the Fairfield County Transportation Improvement District, the county and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission," she said.

"We are also coordinating this study with a feasibility study that ODOT District 5 is preparing for the Pickerington Road interchange at U.S. 33."

Monhollen said another project the township likely will discuss in 2020 is an update of the comprehension land-use plan.

"Our comprehensive land-use plan is 15 years old," he said.

Additionally, the township will finalize plans for the renovation of Violet Township Fire Station 592, 8700 Refugee Road.

"Fire Station 592 on Refugee Road is 23 years old," Monhollen said. "What I know now is the project would be $2 million and the plan is to complete it in 2020."

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