Bernice Marie Eckard
After several months of discussion on possible capital improvements in Powell city’s tax increment financing (TIF) area, the development and finance committees Tuesday will meet to discuss project funding.
The Powell development committee met this week and discussed some of the more likely projects that could be completed with the city’s available TIF funding.
“It’s time to gather ourselves with the finance committee,” said development committee chairman and councilman Jim Hrivnak. “It comes down to the fact that we have to pick some projects out, make a plan and see if that’s what we want to do.”
The projects are numerous and deal with parking, drainage, traffic congestion and streetscape and include the possibility of installing left-hand turn lanes at the intersection of Olentangy and Liberty streets, also known as “Four Corners.”
Project estimates for constructing those turn lanes are $925,000 for Liberty Street and $1.5 million for Olentangy Street, or $1.82 million for both, according to Powell city engineer Rob Rice.
Although no decisions have been made on which projects might get funded, committee members pointed to ones that would be more economically feasible and make an immediate impact on Powell’s historic downtown.
Those projects include doing the streetscape (with drainage, curb, gutters, parking and lighting) near the Powell business incubator at 44 N. Liberty St.; fixing brick paver sidewalks; installing traffic signals at Grace Drive and East Olentangy Street and Grace Drive and North Liberty Street; installing more parking in the northeast quadrant of the city; or putting bike racks in the downtown.
“These are things that are near term and feasible,” Hrivnak said.
Committee member and Councilman Brian Lorenz said there is a nice base of economically feasible projects from which to choose that would create an immediate, visible improvement to downtown. He added that the streetscape by the business incubator is a necessary improvement, especially for safety reasons.
Other projects on the comprehensive list include repairing shoving pavement at Olentangy and Liberty streets; putting in temporary improvements for pedestrian access on the east side of North Liberty Street; milling and overlaying Sharp Street; making a connection from West Case Avenue to Village Point Drive; improving the parking lot at Adventure Park; repairing and reconstructing the basketball court at Adventure Park; repairing and reconstructing the parking lot at the Olentangy Swim Club; replacing the roadway signs for reflectivity requirements; repairing the public service lot at Adventure Park and reconstructing the “old downtown” area, such as Depot, Hall and Scioto streets.
The development committee’s joint meeting with finance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Powell Municipal Building.
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