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City engineer: S.R. 256 hyrants don't provide adequate pressure
The fire hydrants along State Route 256 do not provide adequate water pressure, City Engineer Greg Bachmann told the Pickerington council Jan. 19.
"It is not a super high problem unless we have a big fire, particularly in the summer when there is high (water) usage," Bachman said.
To solve the problem, the city plans to erect a new water tower near the police station on Refugee Road, Bachman said.
On Jan. 20, the Service Committee will select a contractor based on which style of tower the committee members prefer.
For $1.8 million the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company (CB&I) will build a tank on a fluted column or for $1.74 million it will erect a tower that resembles a golf ball on a tee, Bachman said.
The third option is a tank atop a cement pedestal from Caldwell Tanks Inc. for $1,000 less than the golf-ball style, Bachman said.
The original engineers' estimate for the project was $2 million.
Both companies have prepared presentations for the committee to tout their designs, Bachman said.
Bachman said he prefers the golf-ball style, but not for an engineering reason.
"It's a personal preference," Bachman said. "They do all the same function."
New dog park
In other business, the city is one step closer to a new dog park.
Violet Township approached the city to rezone the property at 490 Pickerington Road (upon which the township's new maintenance building sets) to allow for the creation of a dog park on the site's southern 2.3 acres.
The township plans to break ground on the new park this spring, said Bill Yaple, Violet Township Director of Operations.
City manager search continues
On Jan. 18, the city re-advertised for a new city manager.
"Although we have interviewed some talented people, it is clear to me that we have not yet found consensus on who should be selected," Mayor Mitch O'Brien said. "This decision is critical for the operations of our city and to the future of our community, and I want to allow for more time to ensure we get it right."
Council President Tricia Sanders said that none of the more than 30 applicants who responded to the first advertisement for city manager was the right choice for the city.
"There is a better fit for Pickerington out there," Sanders said. "It's too serious a position to just fill haphazardly."
A new manager should be on the job by March, Sanders said.
A screening committee comprised of three senior staff members, three council members and the mayor will conduct the initial interviews, O'Brien said.
The entire council will participate in the second interviews, O'Brien said.
The Jazz, Blues and Ribfest will take place in Canal Winchester this August instead of Pickerington.
According to Main Street Canal Winchester Executive Director Bruce Jarvis, his organization was approached by festival organizer Keely Weaver after they were unable to secure a location in Pickerington that accommodated their growing needs.
"Pickerington has put on the Jazz & Blues Ribfest for 11 years," said Mayor Mike Ebert, "but Pickerington is not going to allow that to happen anymore."
Ebert said that the Pickerington Safety Committee denied the festival's request for a larger venue.
Weaver said the limited supply of electricity and water on Columbus Street in Olde Pickerington Village could no longer support the growing festival.
She planned to move the festival to Victory Park and extend it to two days.
The Safety Committee had no problem with the move, and the issue became that Weaver wanted to move the beer tent into the park as well, said former Safety Committee member Brian Sauer.
No alcohol is permitted to be served or consumed in a Pickerington park, Sauer said.
Pickerington staff suggested that the Ribfest place its beer tent in the city lot across Park Alley from the park where the Violet Festival operates its beer tent.
Weaver said the arrangement would not work and she requested a variance to allow drinking in the park for her event.
News of the request spread through the city.
Former committee chair Michael Sabatino said that while many residents contacted him to oppose allowing the alcohol in the park, he received no calls from supporters of the proposal.
Opponents filled the council chambers to protest beer in the park.
"The community came out in full force," Sanders said.
Weaver suggested a "plan B" for the Ribfest beer garden - placing the tent in Lockville Road in front of the Grange Hall.
The beer garden would be south of Park Alley and north of Fanchers Street to enable traffic to detour and the fire department access to their trucks, Weaver said.
Councilman Jeff Fix said it sounded like the Ribfest would not receive the support of council to sell alcohol in the park, but that Weaver should meet with Police Chief Mike Taylor to discuss the Lockville Road option.
Taylor said he did not hear more about the Jazz Festival until the news broke that it had moved to Canal.
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