GAHANNA AND RITA RESOLVE TAXPAYER LAWSUIT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Brian Metzbower

Brian.metzbower@gahanna.gov

GAHANNA AND RITA RESOLVE TAXPAYER LAWSUIT

Damages to be paid from carry-over reserves accumulated from prudent spending and City will continue to seek reimbursement from insurance carrier

[GAHANNA, OHIO, May 13, 2019] A lawsuit brought by the law firm of Allen, Stovall, Neuman, Fisher & Ashton LLP against the City of Gahanna and the Regional Income Tax Authority (RITA) is now resolved, with city council tonight approving an ordinance to adopt an agreed resolution.

The resolution was reached after months of intense negotiation and it ensures that the city will be able to reduce its legal costs and expenses, while bringing closure for many residents affected by the lawsuit.

The City of Gahanna’s Legal Counsel for the lawsuit Frank Reed said “this matter involving multiple parties has been litigated for years and while RITA and Gahanna may have eventually prevailed in court, the estimated costs of another three to five years of litigation could have potentially resulted in an additional nine million dollars.”

Reed further stated that in his talks with RITA, the city, and counsel for the plaintiffs, it was clear there was momentum for an agreed resolution.

“The city is ready to move forward and this resolution closes that chapter while allowing the city to focus on the future,” Reed said. “This is a responsible decision and I know city leaders look forward to re-focusing on efforts to continue making Gahanna a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

The City of Gahanna’s portion of the damages will be paid from carry-over reserves accumulated from prudent spending from prior years. In addition, the city will continue to seek reimbursement from its insurance company that provides insurance for errors and omissions coverage for the City of Gahanna.

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Council to hold a Public Hearing on Land Use Plan

City Council will hold a Public Hearing on Monday, August 5, 2019, at 7 pm to allow for public comments on ORD-0081-2019- An Ordinance Adopting the City of Gahanna Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

The meeting will take place at City Hall, 200 S. Hamilton Road.

For more information about these meetings, contact the Council Clerk’s Office at 614.342.4090.  To connect with your Council Member, click here.

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.