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City of Grandview Heights Blog

Dec 11

The Tuesday Top 5: December 11, 2018

Posted on December 11, 2018 at 3:11 PM by Laura Oldham

Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5! Your source for the latest info on what is going on in Grandview Heights.

1. Civic Spaces and Places Findings Presented

December 5th marked a milestone during the efforts to identify and plan civic projects to enhance the City’s amenities and facilities for residents. Planning consultant, NBBJ, presented its initial findings to a steering committee made up of representatives from Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Park’s Advisory, and community members assisting in the development of the project recommendations. The consultants reviewed and discussed their concept of “civic opportunity areas” around the City:

1.  A “municipal hub” at Goodale Boulevard and Grandview Avenue where an administration City Hall operation and Divisions of Police and Fire could relocate as part of a campus in the southeast quadrant with a community center;

2. A possible community park/recreation facility at the existing City Hall and safety services building complex at the current City Hall location;

3. A “civic and cultural hub” on First Avenue centered on the library and middle school/junior high complex with an education emphasis; and 

4. An “emerging hub” incorporating Stevenson Elementary, Pierce Field, and the First Avenue Park within the Grandview Yard.

The planning process and community engagement will continue into 2019 before a final report of recommendations become part of the broader Growing on Tradition comprehensive planning effort. That recommendation will explore the possibility of facility collaboration with the Grandview School District as the district moves forward with its own school renovation and construction plans.

Residents may review drafts of the Civic Spaces and Places Phases 1 and 2 reports on the project site encompassing the Growing on Tradition comprehensive planning process here.

2. Grandview Crossing Incentives Unveiled

A framework for incentives for the Grandview Crossing development effort began to come into focus during the December 3rd Council meeting.

Wagenbrenner Development Inc.’s planned transformation for the 16 acres located in the City of Grandview Heights includes a hotel of up to 200 rooms, 250 senior apartments, 50,000 square feet of office space, and 50,000 square feet of retail. To make that happen, my administration introduced legislation authorizing the City’s staff to negotiate an economic development agreement that includes the creation of a 30-year, 100% tax increment financing (TIF) exemption, with make-whole payments to the Grandview School District and new community authority to support infrastructure within and around the planned Grandview Crossing project. The project also entails another 37 or so adjacent acres located within the boundaries of Columbus, whose council has already approved a similar development agreement.

A final Grandview City Council vote on the legislation may occur as early as its Tuesday, January 22nd meeting.

Council also will consider the Planning Commission’s recommendation of the Grandview Crossing components. That piece of the project puzzle won’t advance to council until January as well.

3. Yard Deal Revision, Expansion Set

Council also heard a first reading of legislation on December 3rd supporting the rezoning of approximately 13 acres immediately south of Goodale Boulevard and Grandview Yard to Grandview Commercial Mixed Use from M-1 Industrial.

The Grandview Planning Commission also will consider the rezoning of the property to match the existing Grandview Yard zoning at its December 19th meeting. A companion piece of council legislation outlines incentives for those properties as an extension and restructuring of the Grandview Yard incentives the city enacted in July 2014. See my November 20th blog for more information about the importance of this project.

4. Holiday Happenings Continue

Grandview residents and friends can decorate a gingerbread house at an event the City’s Parks and Recreation Department will host at the Grandview Center, 1515 Goodale Blvd., at 1pm on Saturday, December 15th. The $3 fee for residents and $5 for non-residents will get graham crackers and icing for their creations. Those participating can bring gum drops, chocolate chips, sprinkles, and other edible decorations to ‘deck out’ their “homes.” Hot chocolate will also be provided to those registered.

Each participant must register here to save their seat.

5. Library Unveils Youth Services Updates

Speaking of the Christmas season in Grandview Heights, children and their family and friends gathered December 8th to welcome Santa Claus to the Grandview Heights Public Library. The jolly ol’ elf arrived at 11 a.m. aboard Station 51’s firetruck.

Santa with Firemen and Policemen

The visit by St. Nick gave the library the opportunity to show off the completion of various updates to the Youth Services’ section of the library, which is located on the lower level. Those improvements include fresh paint and new carpeting, a reorganization of the book stacks and wayfinding decals, and new hands-on educational activity tables. 

Renovated Library

Tuesday Top 5 is a weekly update from Mayor Ray DeGraw and the City of Grandview Heights. For more information, visit 

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Dec 04

The Tuesday Top 5: December 4, 2018

Posted on December 4, 2018 at 1:01 PM by Laura Oldham

Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5! Your source for the latest info on what is going on in Grandview Heights.

1. 2019 Budgets Pass

City Council passed both the City Operating and Capital Budgets on unanimous 7-0 votes during its December 3rd meeting. I wanted to express my appreciation to the City Staff for their tireless work forming the proposed budgets, and to Council for fine-tuning the details during committee meetings. I would especially like to recognize the hard work of the Council Finance Committee, chaired by Councilman Steven Gladman and the Finance Department. The budgets as passed reflect the same priorities I set for continued operations and new initiatives when presenting the budget for Council’s consideration in November.

Read more: The Tuesday Top 5: November 27, 2018

2. Leaf Pickup Continues

Wet and freezing weather in November caused delays to curbside leaf collection, but the Grandview Heights Service Department will continue their efforts to catch up. Service Director, Darryl Hughes, reported his crews have collected over 300 tons of leaves from the streets of Grandview Heights in November while booking 131 hours of overtime amid the inclement weather. Rest assured those efforts will continue as the weather cooperates.

Leaf pick up in Grandview

To get a sense of the weather issues, consider that John Glenn International Airport reported 5.7 inches of rain in November, or 2.5 inches more than the typical 3.2 inches of rain expected.

Note: the city is stopping the pick up of yard waste this week other than leaves. We extended this a week due to the weather.

The Bigger Purpose of Not Raking Leaves and Putting Yard Waste in the Streets

Director of Administration, Patrick Bowman, reports that leaf collection is a key component to keeping yard waste out of the City’s storm sewer system, which can cause blockages in and out of the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. These measures and others get reviewed and updated each year as part of the City’s storm water management plan filed with the Ohio EPA each year. Residents can look up information on that plan here.

NOTE: The leaves, grass clippings, and other yard waste picked up gets composted. 

4. ScriptDrop Eyes Relocation, Expansion

A startup software firm, ScriptDrop Inc., has identified 855 Grandview Avenue as a tentative site to grow its technology-driven prescription drug delivery business. My administration brought legislation for a first reading before City Council to entice the company to move into the Loth office furniture-anchored building. Loth, Inc. is looking to expand and integrate its logistics software into chain pharmacies seeking to improve customer service.

A recent Columbus Business First article said the company will bring 15 employees plus expectations it will add nine more as it moves to merge with software contractor Matched Pattern LLC. Council’s Economic Development Committee will hold public hearings on the proposed incentive before a vote of the full council in early 2019.

5. Santa Sets Grandview Library Visit

Saint Nicholas will ride a fire truck to the front door of the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Avenue, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 8th to visit children of all ages. Santa will meet and greet children in the library’s meeting room until noon. Those with Christmas wish lists are encouraged to drop them off at that time. Parents are welcome to take pictures, so don’t forget your cameras! You can cut your wait time Saturday by going into the library this week and picking a time slot. The City’s Parks and Recreation Department program, in cooperation with the library, will also host a room for making holiday crafts. Rosie the Comfort Dog from Atonement Lutheran Church also will visit with the children.

Read more about the event here

Tuesday Top 5 is a weekly update from Mayor Ray DeGraw and the City of Grandview Heights. For more information, visit 

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Nov 27

The Tuesday Top 5: November 27, 2018

Posted on November 27, 2018 at 8:20 PM by Laura Oldham

Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5! Your source for the latest info on what is going on in Grandview Heights.

1. Parks and Recreation worker and friend remembered

Sean McCreary, a five-year member of the Grandview Heights Parks and Recreation Department staff and a friend to all, passed away November 19th. Sean was married and had two young daughters whom he was very active with. Although he graduated from Thomas Worthington, his family lived in Grandview Heights for part of his childhood and he went to St. Christopher’s School. He loved our community.

Sean McCreary

Sean also supported the community after hours, whether coaching his daughters’ GBSA softball teams, helping the Bobcat Boosters set up wiring for the Ox Roast, or being involved in several other organizations. With his laid back, easy going personality, Sean quickly built friendships among the City staff and with Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff residents. He was a good cook, at least in a couple of areas. Each spring he and his father would grill ribs and prepare other dishes for a staff gathering. He also cooked a “legendary” Crème Brule French Toast for the Center’s Annual Christmas Breakfast.

Sean had a versatility of skills. If you could describe it, he could build it and if you
needed help, he was there. His background as an electrician and mechanic led to him
taking on several other tasks outside his work in Parks and Recreation, including
assisting the City Service Department on streetlight repairs, line tracing, and circuit
breaker installation.

Most of all, Sean was a good man. To meet him, was to like him. The City staff and the
broader community will greatly miss Sean as a co-worker and a friend. We are all better people for knowing him.

2. Operating budget reflects priorities

In addition to funding continued operations, the proposed 2019 Operating Budget, Ordinance 2018-30 The budget I submitted to Council earlier this month as Ordinance 2018-30 includes several new initiatives to enhance services:

  • Adding a police officer to the department and moving a sergeant to the detective bureau to handle a growing investigation caseload;
  • Hiring one more maintenance worker to the Service Department and dedicating two workers to film and clean sewer and sanitary lines throughout the city as we move toward a goal inspecting every sanitary and storm sewer line once a year while reducing contract labor costs;
  • Greatly expand the programs offered by the Parks and Recreation Department to increase offerings to all age groups, a move that will require creating a new recreation program position;
  • The operating budget also proposes to increase our tree pruning and replacement activity and step up replacement of sidewalks damaged by tree roots; and
  • Funding an update to the street pavement rating system developed by ODOT to help prioritize street repairs and replacements. This goes hand-in-hand with a request to increase the capital improvements budget for street repairs by $250,000 in 2019.

3. Capital budget list under review

The Capital Improvements Budget (Ordinance 2018-31) also is also under review by council. The administration’s proposed new initiatives include: 

  • Community projects include expansion of the Street Improvement program from $500,000 this year to $?750,000 in 2019; replacing the east side sidewalk with a shared pedestrian and bike path (multi-purpose path) on Grandview Avenue between the City Hall and Goodale Boulevard, a new multi-purpose path along the east side of Elmwood north of Goodale; and intersection safety enhancements for the intersection of Grandview and West First avenues;
  • The purchase of a new garbage packer truck, two new trash buggies, a skid steer with attachments, and new leaf box for a dump truck;
  • Protective clothing, scheduled radio replacements and an ambulance cot for the fire department as well as scheduled radio replacement, night optics, and cell analyzer equipment for the police department; and
  • Upgrades for the permitting system for the Administration Department and replacement security cameras for city hall.

4. Sidewalk, curb repair discussed

City Council’s Planning and Administrative Committee held a hearing November 19th on an ordinance seeking to change the scope of property owners’ responsibility for the repair or installation of public sidewalks, curbs and street gutter. Proposed Ordinance 2018-32 would shift part or all of the cost of such projects to the City. The Council committee asked me and Service Director Darryl Hughes about the process and standards used to direct residents and business to repair their sidewalks. Historically, the city’s Building Department has inspected a quadrant of the city each year, marked sidewalks and curbs in need of repair, and notified residents of the need to repair the sidewalks.

For a number of years, the City has repaired sidewalks damaged or lifted by city-
installed trees in the public right-of-way between the sidewalk and street curb. The
current proposal will get more scrutiny as the city determines the current condition of the sidewalks, curbs and street gutters and how much it will cost to repair those not meeting the City’s standards.

5. City launches Christmas festivities

The holiday season gets started here in Grandview Heights this week, beginning with the acceptance of Letters to Santa at the Grandview Heights Center, 1515 Goodale Boulevard, or the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave., today through December 19th. Children may also email their letters to All correspondence will get answered through the U.S. Postal Service.

New this year will be outside activities. An artificial ice rink will be open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the Grandview High School Band will start playing at 5:30 to kick off the outside activities. So,bring your ice skates and dress warm! The Pathways Credit Union will again sponsor a Holiday Coloring Contest, with entries due at the credit union (1445 Goodale Boulevard) or the Grandview Center by noon on Monday, December 3rd. Winners of the $50 first place prize, $25 second prize and third place $10 prize will be announced at the holiday tree lighting ceremony that begins at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 4th at the Grandview Center. That ceremony will feature the Grandview Heights High School Singers ensemble.

Tree being lit up Tree in light

Next week I’ll detail the 'Bubbles the Elf' contest that runs from December 1st through December 20th. You’ll have to find our holiday Elf at area businesses and post a picture on the city’s social media sites: Instagram #BubblesTheElfGrandview or
Facebook @grandviewheightsoh.

Tuesday Top 5 is a weekly update from Mayor Ray DeGraw and the City of Grandview Heights. For more information, visit 

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