Plain City council discusses right of ways

By Justin Miller -

Plain City’s village council discussed the possibility of entering into a contract with GGC Engineering to help plan and execute a revitalization of downtown right of ways in the village at Monday’s regular meeting.

GGC has worked with other municipalities across the state to write an enforceable ordinance that complies with the Ohio Revised Code requiring downtown utility lines and supports to be repaired or replaced and properly loaded.

“There’s definitely a few (poles) that are overloaded,” Mayor Darrin Lane said.

The ordinance would also give the village the authority to properly permit the utility company for repairs or other work being done. That would prevent the village from being blindsided by unexpected work.

“I know council has discussed this right of way ordinance in the past. This would fit right in line with the full-time zoning inspector position we’re looking to create,” Village Administrator Kevin Vaughn said. “We’ve had some issues recently with the utility company doing pavement cuts within our right of way and roadways without contacting us. This utility is probably the number one instigator of right of way ordinances, because they do this in a lot of communities. We’re looking to curb that and protect our assets going forward.”

The cost for GGC to implement the ordinance would be $25,000, but GGC engineer Eric Sandine said that cost could likely be recovered within the first year.

“The cost to implement the program is 100 percent recoverable,” Sandine said. “We see anywhere between $25,000 and $35,000 in annual registration fees, and then permit fees, we can see upwards of $80,000.”

Sandine cautioned the council that those numbers are different for each location, based on size and usage, but was optimistic that the village would benefit.

In other business from Monday’s meeting:

• Council was informed that Lieutenant Robert “R.C.” Fellows, of the Pleasant Valley Joint Fire District, had officially received the 2017 Box 15 — Larry Parlett Firefighter of the Year Award at the Box 15 Annual Awards Banquet. Fellows had been announced as the winner in February.

Box 15 is an organization that provides rehabilitation services to fire departments in Central Ohio. The organization sponsors an annual award for the Columbus Firefighter of the Year, from the city’s fire department, and County Firefighter of the Year, from Central Ohio.

The nomination criteria are based on the candidate’s professional skills, demonstrated ability and dedication to the fire service. The nominee was also judged on their levels of courtesy, professionalism and dependability.

Fellows has been with the district since December 2011. He is the department’s training coordinator, as well as the point of contact for community outreach training.

• Council passed Ordinance 14-17 as an emergency measure, bringing the village codification into compliance with the Ohio Revised Code.

• Council amended the recreation budget with Resolution 9-17 as an emergency, allowing the swim team to create a budget showing revenue and expenditures.

• Council voted to approve the second reading for Ordinance 13-17, concerning water rules and regulations.

• Council voted to approve the first reading of Resolution 10-17, concerning the creation of a zoning inspector position.

• Council voted to approve the first reading of Ordinance 15-17, concerning the creation of a full-time village engineering position.

By Justin Miller