City of Gahanna Plans to Appeal Court Ruling of $13.2 Million It Must Pay to Class Members

Yesterday, the Court of Common Pleas announced a ruling in the LaBorde v. City of Gahanna case. In its decision, the court ruled that the defendants in the case must pay $13.2 million to class members for tax years beginning in 2008 through 2014.

“In light of the court’s most recent ruling, we are prepared to move forward with our appeal to the higher court,” said Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland. “We assert that the City has correctly interpreted and consistently applied the tax ordinance to give credit for taxes paid to another municipality. It is important to note that this ruling is independent of the current ballot issue 29, which is critical for our streets, safety, and community.”

The City of Gahanna disputes the allegations of liability in the prior decision and maintains that it has correctly interpreted and consistently applied the reduced tax credit which requires that if a person lives in the city of Gahanna, but works and pays taxes to another city, they are required to pay 0.25% of their income for receiving city services. On February 8, 1989, the City of Gahanna amended its income tax ordinance by eliminating a sentence which included the word “lesser.” The complaint alleged that this change meant that taxpayers who live in Gahanna and pay taxes to a different city, like Columbus, at a rate higher than 1.5%, should get a 100% credit, effectively paying nothing to the City of Gahanna.

The City of Gahanna asserts the determination of liability made by the court in a prior decision is not valid. Now that the Court of Common Pleas has issued a final order, Gahanna is now able to proceed with an appeal to the 10th District Court of Appeals regarding the entire case. The most recent ruling by the Court of Common Pleas provided a decision on the amount of refunds, interest, penalty, and fees to be refunded to class members.

“The City of Gahanna remains accountable, responsible and transparent in managing its finances,” said Dottie Franey, city administrator. “Now that a decision has been made, we are in a position to provide information and updates to the public regarding the pending litigation.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.