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Summit plans hit roadblock
A partnership between local governments to improve Summit Road has fallen apart just weeks before the group planned to apply for state funding.
With the additional strain of buses on route to the new high school, officials say Summit Road needs work.
To that end, a coalition formed including the city of Reynoldsburg, the Reynoldsburg School District, Etna Township, Licking County and local landowners.
The proposed improvements included widening Summit from Livingston Avenue through Refugee Road as well as constructing curbs, storm drains and a multiuse path, City Engineer Jim Miller said.
The group intended to meet the Sept. 8 deadline to apply for Ohio Public Works Commission funding.
In August, however, Reynoldsburg received word from Etna Township and Licking County to proceed without them.
They gave the city two reasons for withdrawing.
"It ought to be known, that Licking County and Etna Township (withdrew regarding) who's going to offer water and sewer (to the new school)," Councilman Mel Clemens said at the council's Sept. 14 meeting.
Clemens said there are lawsuits pending to determine who should service the area.
The city of Reynoldsburg and the Southwest Licking Community Water and Sewer District have both filed suit to be the provider.
Secondly, Etna Township feared that after it spent $270,000 to improve its portion of the road, Reynoldsburg would annex its investment, Miller said.
"I am impressed by the jurisdictions of government," Council President William Hills said. "Etna trustees have come here and said they wanted to work together. We did work together in this instance and they (withdrew) because they didn't want private citizens to ask to be annexed.
"People come to Reynoldsburg," Hills said. "We don't send people up and down the road trying to annex land into Reynoldsburg."
The remaining partners redesigned the project to include only the portion of Summit within city limits (from Refugee to 3,000 feet south of Main Street), Miller said.
If OPWC approves the application, the group would receive a $2.5-million grant. The remainder of the $3.52-million project would be funded through a 10-year, interest-free loan.
The city would be responsible for $600,000 of the loan, the landowners would donate their property with an estimated value of $120,000, and the schools would cover the remaining $230,000 loan amount.
The state requires that the schools complete their portion of the improvements regardless of the city's involvement. By partnering with the city, the schools will save approximately $50,000 to $70,000 on the project, Miller said.
Around the new year, OPWC will inform the group whether or not it has been approved for the funding.
If approved, construction would begin in March 2011.
In other news, the construction of Rosehill should be "substantially complete" by the end of the year, Miller said.
"Traffic should be able to drive on it, but there may be minor work to complete such as sidewalks or planting grass," Miller said.
The council tabled legislation to allow a church to open in a former pool hall.
Empowerment Worship Center (EWC) had applied for a variance that would enable the church to move into the Century City strip mall on Main Street.
The council will discuss the issue during its Sept. 21 committee meetings.
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