Council woman Leslie Perkins may be waging a war against the power lines along Main Street in downtown Plain City.
Power companies rent out the usage of their poles to cable and phone companies, she said to council on Monday, April 28.
“That’s the power company making money on our property,” Perkins said. “If you look around any villages in Central Ohio, you’ll see Plain City is one of the last ones out there that has those ugly power poles on our main street.”
Perkins and village administrator Kevin Vaughn had traveled to downtown Lithopolis recently to see the the revitalization work that village had recently undergone under the the direction of GGC Engineers, a firm based in Gahanna.
Perkins told council how, in Lithopolis, their main road through town is now free of power lines, has ample on-street parking and wide sidewalks.
GGC Engineers had visited Plain City, Perkins said.
“They came out and looked at moving the power lines off Main Street,” she said. “They want to put together a schematic drawing of what they could do for us.”
Perkins told council that there are numerous grants the village may be able to tap into to help renovate and unclutter Main Street through downtown.
“I think it’s a good start,” she said. “I know we don’t have a lot of money to throw at this, but I think we should get the ball rolling.”
Council member Colleen Davis asked, “How did they approach moving the power lines back off Main Street? Would that be an easy thing?”
“Well, it’s as easy as writing a check,” quipped Vaughn.
Davis elaborated, saying that moving the lines would include a cost to the property owners. On many of the buildings along state route 161, the power lines enter the structures in the front. If the power lines were moved to Bigelow Street, so would the entry points on the buildings along Main Street.
Davis was hopeful that the Uptown Plain City Business Association could look into ways to offset the costs for the property owners.
“I know this will take years,” Perkins said. “Maybe we can get downtown looking nice by our bicentennial.”
“I like setting some goals for the bicentennial,” council president pro ten Shawn Kaeser said. “Think big, start small, but work toward 2018.”
Although named Westminster at the time of its founding, Plain City will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the village in 2018.
Council approved a $1,500 cost for GGC Engineers to develop a design plan for downtown Plain City.