Gahanna Among Those Communities Recognized by MORPC for Leading on Sustainability

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has certified five local governments as the first set of Sustainable2050 communities to achieve an elevated status for their actions to promote sustainability.

Sustainable2050 is a program that supports communities’ sustainability efforts through direct technical assistance, collaboration, and recognition. Each member’s tier status is determined by the number of eligible activities it carries out in five categories corresponding to MORPC’s Regional Sustainability Agenda.

“These communities are dedicated to improving the quality of life of their residents in sustainable ways, and that should be celebrated,” MORPC Planning & Environment Director Kerstin Carr said. “Through Sustainable2050, we are not only recognizing their commitment to sustainability but ultimately assisting them, through access to resources, to do even more.”

Dublin, Gahanna, Genoa Township, Lockbourne, and Upper Arlington comprise the first five certified Sustainable2050 members, with each being designated as Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum status.

The City of Dublin completed 48 eligible activities across five categories, achieving the Platinum designation. Highlights from Dublin include:

  • A commitment to energy through its efforts to increase the percentage of fleet vehicles using alternative fuels
  • Efforts to minimize greenfield development through its innovative code and master plan for the Bridge Street District
  • A Green Purchasing Policy in place since 1998 to increase economic opportunity
  • The Dublin Bikeway Plan that was recognized as a tool the city uses to serve a higher number of residents and workers

The City of Gahanna completed 14 eligible activities in four categories, achieving the Silver designation. Highlights from Gahanna include:

  • Collaboration with private partners to host public alternative fuel stations
  • An innovative stormwater credit incentive that encourages implementation of green stormwater infrastructure and reduction of peak flow runoff

Genoa Township completed 16 eligible activities in four categories, achieving the Silver designation. Highlights from Genoa Township include:

  • Spreading the word about air quality, and promoting behavior change among its staff on Air Quality Alert days
  • A commitment to Sustainable Neighborhoods by prioritizing maintenance and improvements to its multipurpose trails such as the Genoa Trail, which is a Central Ohio Greenways route and part of the Ohio to Erie Trail.

The Village of Lockbourne completed 17 eligible activities in five categories, achieving the Silver designation. Highlights from Lockbourne include:

  • Actively reaching out to the community with information and education for its residents on air quality via social media and its Village View newsletter
  • Preserving sustainable neighborhoods by promoting available home weatherization services and programs to its residents

The City of Upper Arlington completed 43 eligible activities across five categories, achieving the Platinum designation. Highlights from Upper Arlington include:

  • A commitment to reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled, in part through its Complete Streets policy. It is one of only a handful of Central Ohio communities to have officially adopted a policy; theirs has been in place since 2014.
  • A zoning code and master plan that focus on infill opportunities, which help the city to minimize greenfield development
  • Promoting the Green Spot program, helping to increase the number of businesses and homes that carry out their own sustainability practices
  • A commitment to Sustainable Neighborhoods by prioritizing the number of people and jobs it serves through its bike and pedestrian infrastructure. The Upper Arlington bikeways continue to expand, removing bike and pedestrian network gaps within the community.

More than 30 local communities committed to work toward more sustainable practices through MORPC’s Sustainable2050 initiative, meaning more communities will be certified in the near future.

Additional information on the Sustainable2050 program can be found at morpc.org/sustainable2050.

 

Pizzurro Park will be Closed for Construction October 22-29, 2018

Beginning Monday, October 22, 2018, Law General Contracting will be performing the work associated with the Pizzurro Park Bridge Replacement project.  This project will remove and replace the deficient bridge that carries Pizzurro Park Drive over the stream that flows into Big Walnut Creek that provides access to Pizzurro Park. During this time, Pizzurro Park will be closed for a period of seven days to allow for the replacement of the structure and will reopen on 10/29/18 (weather dependent). Park users may experience minor delays accessing the park during the remainder of construction. The project is expected to be completed by Monday, November 12, 2018 (weather permitting).  For more information, contact the Engineering division at 614.342.4050.

 

 

 

Hamilton Towne Centre Development Zoning -UPDATE

On October 10, 2018, the Planning Commission voted to postpone the public hearing for the zoning application for the Hamilton Towne Centre Development to November 7, 2018.  For more information, contact the Clerk of Council’s office at 614.342.4090.

A Message from the Mayor

Dear Gahanna Residents,

As 2018 winds down, I would like to thank the citizens of Gahanna for another wonderful year. Being your mayor these past three years has truly been my pleasure, and I look forward to the memorable times still to come.

In order to maintain Gahanna’s reputation as a place where people want to live and businesses want to invest, it is critical that we fix our deteriorating streets, potholes, and curbs, and to remain a safe community.

On November 6, Gahanna residents will have the opportunity to decide whether to change the City’s earned income tax rate from 1.5% to 2.5%.

The question may arise as to why this increase is needed when Gahanna has had nearly nine years of economic growth. Despite this development, cities across Ohio have been significantly impacted by a decrease in state funding. That, coupled with significantly lower investment returns leave Gahanna with a $2.6 million shortfall for 2019.

Furthermore, due to Gahanna’s low unchanged tax rate and the way local tax laws work in Ohio, the City loses about $4 million to neighboring communities each year.

If the proposed tax increase passes, Gahanna would be able to keep the $4 million lost to other communities, dedicating 75% of the additional revenue to necessary capital projects and maintenance. The remaining 25% will address operational needs associated with those projects and expand safety in our community. It is also important to note that Gahanna will be issuing a 100% credit for taxes paid to other cities in addition to the 1% increase.

As always, if you have any questions about Issue 29 or any other concerns in our city, please reach out to me directly at Mayors.Office@Gahanna.gov or visit www.gahanna.gov/issue29.

I look forward to working with each of you for the continued betterment of our community.

Thomas R. Kneeland
Mayor

Daytime Restrictions on I-670 East to Begin Wednesday, October 3

Beginning Wednesday, October 3, the left lane of I-670 E between I-71 and I-270 will remain closed until 1 pm each day. Extending this lane closure will expedite payment repairs that must be completed before the temperatures drop.  Along with the left lane, the entrance ramps from E. 5th Ave. and Leonard Ave. to I-670 E will also remain closed until 1 pm.

Drivers should plan for extra travel time, especially during the morning commute.

INTERSTATE 670 EAST

  • I-670 E will be reduced to two lanes from 7 pm until 1 pm the next day
  • Ramps from E. 5th Ave. and Leonard Ave. to I-670 E will also be closed from 7 pm to 1 pm
  • 5th Ave. WB Detour: Nelson Rd. to Airport Dr. to I-670EB
  • 5th Ave. EB Detour: Cassady to I-670 EB
  • Leonard Ave Detour: 5th Ave to Cassady to I-670 EB

The extended lane closure will occur Monday through Friday and all lanes of I-670 EB will be open from 1 pm – 7 pm daily.

Pavement repairs on I-670E are expected to be completed by the end of October, weather permitting.

For more detailed traffic information, and to get personalized traffic alerts for your community, download the OHGO app or visit OHGO.com.

 

 

City and Council to Host Community Conversations on Issue 29

Over the next several weeks, Mayor Kneeland, City Staff, and City Council will host a series of community conversations and town hall meeting on Issue 29 to answer community questions about Issue 29. To get the facts about Issue 29, click here. If you have a specific question, email information@gahanna.gov.

 

 

City of Gahanna to Address Streets and Safety with Nov. 6 Ballot

Gahanna City Council unanimously voted on July 2, to place a one percent earned income tax increase on the Nov. 6, 2018 ballot. The funds will be used to repair the City’s streets and maintain a safe community.

Despite nine years of economic growth, the City of Gahanna currently faces a potential $2.6 million shortfall for 2019. Council finance committee chairman, Michael Schnetzer, states that “I’ve heard loud and clear from residents that the condition of their streets and curbs is unacceptable and traffic congestion is too much to bear. Seventy-five percent of the additional revenue accumulated will be legally restricted for use toward necessary capital projects and maintenance of the City’s core infrastructure so that residents can be assured that capital needs are met for the next twenty years. The remaining twenty-five percent of the revenue will be used for operations to keep safety a priority and the City of Gahanna competitive and vibrant.”

“The City of Gahanna operates fiscally lean,” stated Brian Larick, Gahanna council president. “We’ve thoroughly reviewed how the annual budget is built. We’ve carefully taken into consideration wages, projects, economic development, history and future assumptions to validate if the annual budget is appropriate, reasonable and logical. Based upon these considerations, we believe it is critical for our community to vote on a one percent earned income tax on November 6, so we may fix our aging streets and keep our community safe.”

If the proposed tax increase passes, Gahanna would be at the same income tax rate as nearly half of the surrounding communities.

“Few things weigh on property values like crime and deteriorating infrastructure. In order to maintain Gahanna as the community where people want to live and businesses want to locate, it is essential we fix our deteriorating streets and remain a safe community. The November 6 issue is critical for Gahanna,” said Mayor Tom Kneeland.

City of Gahanna Receives GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for 5th Consecutive Year

Award presented to entities that meet the highest principles of governmental budget

For the fifth consecutive year, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has presented the City of Gahanna with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2018 budget.  The award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting and represents a significant achievement by the organization.

“This award affirms our continued commitment to being transparent and fiscally accountable to our taxpayers,” said Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland.” I commend our Finance Director, Joann Bury and her team for the great work they are doing to help us achieve these standards.”

In order to receive the budget award, the City of Gahanna had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation.  These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as:

  • a policy document
  • a financial plan
  • an operations guide
  • a communications device

Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories, and in the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award.

When a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is granted to an entity, a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation is also presented to the individual(s) or department designated as being primarily responsible for having achieved the award. This has been presented to the City of Gahanna Finance Department.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to produce a budget document that extends beyond the basic requirements for budget preparation,” said Finance Director Joann Bury. “It reflects our continued commitment to provide Council and other decision makers of the City with a document that conforms to best practices and guidelines established by the GFOA and National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting. This platform offers us the ability to feature pertinent information in one document allowing budgeting decisions to be made responsibly and effectively.”

There are more than 1,600 participants in the Budget Awards Program. The most recent Budget Award recipients, along with their corresponding budget documents, are posted quarterly on GFOA’s website.  Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

The Government Finance Officers Association is a major professional association servicing the needs of more than 19,000 appointed and elected local, state and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners.  To learn more about the GFOA, click here.

City of Gahanna Launches a New Brand

New brand identity connects the past to the present

Recently, the City of Gahanna has unveiled its new brand to the community. The new brand celebrates the natural beauty of Gahanna, the strength of its families and its commitment to help businesses grow and thrive.  Over the past year, the City, along with Council, Align2Market and Virge Branding engaged community partners from Visit Gahanna – Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau, Gahanna Chamber of Commerce, Gahanna-Jefferson school district and area businesses to create a new brand identity for the city.

“I want to thank the volunteers who helped us develop our true brand identity,” said Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland. “This has been a long journey, but I am really impressed with the work that went into this effort and feel we now have an identifiable brand that reflects the character of our community.”

The need for a new brand for Gahanna was identified in the City’s Economic Development Strategic Plan and throughout the public input process for the GoForward Gahanna Strategic Plan. Funds were approved by Council in 2016 and Align2Market and Virge Branding were selected to create the city’s new brand identity.

“Gahanna recognized the need to have a clearly defined brand to effectively attract new residents and business development, and also to build community pride,” said Pete McGinty, CEO of Align2Market. “Gahanna is an extremely connected and diverse community, very family and business friendly with an attitude of taking care of each other for the good of the whole. Few other central Ohio communities can boast the natural resources evident throughout the city. The tagline, where currents connect, is genuine, distinct and inviting, and embodies all the characteristics that make Gahanna unique.”

Before creating the new brand, Align2Market set out to gain input from the community to learn their perceptions of the current brand and what they envision the new brand to be. They conducted 18 executive interviews with local businesses and received more than 900 responses to an online survey from the community.

Using data collected in the last Citizen Survey, public input from the GoForward Gahanna and Land Use community meetings, interviews with businesses and residents, and from the brand advisory committee and administration, McGinty and his team were able to create a brand identity that connects Gahanna to its past and present and embodies the true character of the city. During the process, three emerging themes evolved: Family Powered, Naturally Beautiful and Grounded Freedom.  Family is the engine that drives Gahanna, and it is a giving and caring community. With more than 750 acres of parkland, welcome space and the Big Walnut flowing through its downtown, Gahanna is naturally a beautiful city. In uncovering the true essence of Gahanna, McGinty discovered that Gahanna is a place that encourages risk takers, visionaries and entrepreneurs. In Gahanna, businesses feel supported by the mayor and city administration.

The yellow arch in the new logo represents two characteristics. First, as a literal interpretation of an arch, which is a very dominate image associated with the city and one that complement’s the current brand.  The arch also symbolizes a sunrise – an awakening of a new day; a beginning, and embodies a “feel good” tone consistent with Gahanna’s strength as a family and business-friendly community.

The three streams are representative of Gahanna’s waterways and natural beauty. The word Gahanna is derived from a Native American word meaning, “three creeks joining into one.” The visual of the three streams sweeps are a representation of the three creeks and embody one of the city’s greatest strengths.

The color pallet selected is intended to embody some of the strongest community characteristics of warm, caring, welcoming and easy going.  The warm blue and yellow colors also represent aesthetics and beauty.

The aesthetics of the font represent characteristics such as welcoming, belonging, and inviting. The font is both direct and elegant.

Thanks to Gahanna-based business, Ohio HD video, a brand narrative video was created to bring the new brand to life.  The video can be viewed on the City’s YouTube channel.  Now that phase one of the new brand has been completed; the City will be working on the second phase of implementation. The initial phase will primarily focus on updating digital assets and marketing collateral.  Longer term implementation will depend on future funding sources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice of Public Hearings from Gahanna City Council

The community is invited to attend the upcoming public hearings on the following:

MR-0027-2018 TO PROVIDE PUBLIC NOTICE AND ESTABLISH THE SCHEDULE FOR LEGISLATIVE STEPS REQUIRED FOR THE AMENDMENT OF SECTION 161.081, CREDIT FOR TAX PAID TO ANOTHER MUNICIPALITY, OF CHAPTER 161, as follows:

JULY 23, 2018 (7 pm) – COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE DISCUSSION OF CREDIT ORDINANCE

AUGUST 6, 2018 (7 pm) – INTRODUCE DRAFT; FIRST PUBLIC HEARING

AUGUST 13, 2018 (6 pm) – SPECIAL MEETING; SECOND PUBLIC HEARING

AUGUST 13, 2018 (7 pm) – COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE; DISCUSSION OF ORDINANCE

AUGUST 20, 2018 (7 pm) – REGULAR MEETING; THIRD PUBLIC HEARING

AUGUST 27, 2018 (7 pm) – COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE; DISCUSSION OF ORDINANCE

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER COMMITTEES OF THE WHOLE – DISCUSSION OF ORDINANCE AS NEEDED

OCTOBER 22, 2018 (6 pm) – SPECIAL MEETING; SECOND READING TO CONSIDER ADOPTION OF ORDINANCE

 All meetings will take place in Council Chambers, Gahanna City Hall, 200 S. Hamilton Rd., unless otherwise noted.  For more information, contact the Council Clerk’s Office at 614.342.4090