Public Notice for 12/17 – Hearing on 2019 Proposed Budget and Paulina Place Zoning & Variance to Take Place at 7pm

City Council will hold its final hearing to allow for public comments on the 2019 Proposed Budget on Monday, December 17, 2018.  Additionally, there will be a public hearing held for the Paulina Place Zoning and Variance.

The meeting will take place at 7 pm 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.

Pizzurro Park To Reopen Saturday, December 15, 2018

Pizzuro Park is set to reopen on Saturday, December 15.  The park was closed back in October to complete the work associated with the Pizzurro Park Bridge Replacement project, which included removing and replacing the deficient bridge that carries Pizzurro Park Drive over the stream that flows into Big Walnut Creek that provides access to Pizzurro Park.

 

 

 

ODOT SmartLane Traffic Advisory for December 12 -14, 2018

I-670 Between I-71 and I-270 (East Side)

INTERSTATE 670

9 AM TOMORROW 12/12/18: I-670 EB will be reduced to two lanes between Leonard Ave. and I-270 each morning. All lanes will reopen each afternoon.

3 PM FRIDAY 12/14/18: All lanes open.

US 62

9 AM TOMORROW 12/12/18: US 62 WB will be reduced to one lane between Stygler Rd. and I-270 each morning. All lanes will reopen each afternoon.

3 PM FRIDAY 12/14/18: All lanes open.

All work is weather dependent; it may be postponed or canceled without prior notice.

For more information, contact:
Breanna Badanes at (740) 833-8222
Jacob Shoaf at (740) 833-8220

City Response to Gahanna-Jefferson Public School Notification on Lead Levels

The City of Gahanna has received some inquiries regarding the notice sent out by Gahanna-Jefferson Public School (GJPS) District on elevated levels of lead found in some of their sink faucets in classrooms and other school areas. The City of Gahanna Department of Public Service Water Division is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water, and the issue occurring in the schools appears to be isolated in the areas identified by GJPS and may be a result of the variety of materials used in plumbing components.

Gahanna’s water distribution system is compliant with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (OEPA) requirements for lead and copper testing which is required to be performed every three years.  The latest round of testing was completed earlier this year.  This year’s sampling showed that our water distribution system is well within compliance with OEPA regulations.

The main source of lead and copper is from service lines, interior plumbing fixtures, and materials used in the plumbing of private residences and businesses, not the City mains.  To our knowledge, the City of Gahanna does not have any lead mains or service lines.

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children.  As previously stated, lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with private service lines and home plumbing. When water has been sitting for several hours, residents can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing their tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking.

Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps residents can take to minimize exposure is available from the U.S. EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or online at www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.