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.

 

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.