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City of Grandview Heights Blog

Nov 13

The Tuesday Top 5: November 12th, 2019

Posted on November 13, 2019 at 9:34 AM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: November 12th, 2019


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

Congratulations to our next Mayor, Greta Kearns, on your Election Victory!

1. City marks public works facility completion with tours, dedication

I want to invite all residents to join Grandview Heights elected officials, administrators and staff to the dedication of the City’s new public works facility Friday, November 15th.

McKinley Entrance

We begin the celebration at 4 p.m. with tours of the facility at 1260 McKinley Ave. that will serve as the administrative and operations center of the Grandview Heights Department of Public Service, the Department of Building & Zoning and the Parks Division of the Department of Parks & Recreation. The formal dedication will begin at 6 p.m. 

The quickest access to the facility is to take Grandview Avenue south until its terminus at McKinley. Take a right onto McKinley toward downtown Columbus. The facility is located between Central and Souder avenues. 

The project allows the City to improve operational efficiencies, allows storage of all equipment inside (longer life) and makes it easier to service vehicles and equipment.  The City will no longer need to lease space at other locations to store equipment. The project also includes a new athletic field with bathroom facilities.

Plans outlined in the City’s Civic Places and Spaces study approved earlier this year envisions the eventual demolition of existing buildings along Glendale Avenue between the Grandview Center and Douglas Street as plans advance to relocate the City’s fire and police operations and administrative offices onto the site in a few years.

The City purchased the 4.3-acre site in October 2017. Construction began in late 2018 as general contractor Setterlin Construction pushed toward and accomplished an aggressive building schedule for the complex set by the City and project architect Ron Gajoc.  A great job accomplished by all involved with the construction.  The project came in on time and at bid. 

I look forward to seeing many of you there for the tours and dedication ceremony.

2. Third Avenue project takes slight detour as completion nears

The plan to open one lane of traffic eastbound and westbound on West Third Avenue between Yard Street and Olentangy River Road on November 8th hit a glitch last week. The City of Columbus expects the delay to actually speed up the start of two-lane traffic in both directions the week before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Trestle East Construction

The Columbus Department of Public Service advised the City that general contractor Central Ohio Contracting expressed safety concerns in the plan to re-establish temporary two-way traffic on the south side of the widened road as work continued for several more weeks on the north side. At issue is the need to reconfigure the grade of the exit drive of the Columbus Fire Station 25 at West Third and the safety of traffic during the efforts to fix that situation.

The November 6th decision to delay partial reopening will prompt an earlier opening of all vehicular lanes on November 20th rather than the earlier goal of mid-December. That means traffic should flow fully the week of Thanksgiving.

This project has become a real test of patience and source of frustration among those traveling in and around our community as what became a three-year project experienced several delays, including a September 15th projected completion date of the project that came and went.

The project to widen Third Avenue between Bobcat Avenue/Edgehill Drive to Olentangy River Road to four vehicle lanes meant the trestle carrying the CSX line over Third needed to get stretched. In order to maintain rail traffic, contractors first had to shift the rail line a few yards west of the existing line and build a temporary bridge for rail traffic to use while a permanent bridge got built. The temporary bridge went into service in late May after a four-week closure of westbound Third as well. The wider, permanent trestle became operational late October but traffic again shut down to both directions to allow demolition of the temporary bridge and completion of West Third road and utility work between Yard Street and the fire station.

Trestle East Firehouse

3. Susan Jagers steps down from JEDZ leadership post

A veteran community leader has announced her resignation from the Clinton-Grandview Heights Joint Economic Development Zone after 5 ½ years of service on this important economic development panel.

Jagers Snip

Susan Jagers formally announced her resignation at the JEDZ panel’s October 29th meeting. Jagers, who supported the JEDZ while serving on Grandview Heights City Council from January 2006 to December 2013, joined the board as a member when the panel began operations in April 2014. She became president in April 2016 when Sheila Clark, another of the City’s original three representatives, stepped down from the board.

The JEDZ allows Grandview Heights to administer the collection of income taxes for Clinton Township. The City receives 20 percent of the income taxes for the general fund and 2 percent as an administration fee.

Jagers credits the finance team’s diligence and creativity in making the JEDZ a success for the township, which has been able to fund various public works and economic development projects in Clinton Township through the taxes generated. The proximity of the west sections of Clinton Township along Kinnear and Kenny roads and Olentangy River Road means the township investments have benefitted the Tri-Village area as a whole, including Grandview Heights.

I would like to publicly thank Susan – who has served as director of the Ohio Poverty Law Center since early 2018 – for her tireless service on behalf of our community, both within and outside our formal municipal borders.

The vacancy on the JEDZ will formally open in early 2020, allowing Mayor Kearns and Council to fill the seat. I trust this cooperative venture with our nearby neighbors will continue to benefit both Clinton Township and the City for years to come.

4. Council votes to hire new clerk

City Council has hired a new clerk as veteran Clerk of Council Debbie Nicodemus heads toward retirement at year’s end.

Leilani Napier will start in the post on November 25th as she trains with Nicodemus through December, when Nicodemus retires from the clerk position and as the administration’s administrative secretary.

Nicodemus Napier snip

Napier brings significant government experience, most recently as Powell Planning & Zoning Commission clerk and deputy clerk of Powell’s Council since April 2015. She also has worked for various state of Ohio agencies over 31 years before taking a part-time job at the American Legion, according to her resume. Council selected Napier from 16 applicants, four of whom council members interviewed.

Napier will work 20-32 hours per week as the clerk of council and as secretary to the Civil Service Commission. I extend my best wishes to Napier as she serves the City in these posts.

Nicodemus has served in the part-time position of council clerk since October 2008 and previously served as deputy clerk since coming to work for the City in 1989. The International Institute of Municipal Clerks earlier this year recognized Nicodemus’ administrative prowess in managing the Grandview Heights Council’s operations with the association’s Master Municipal Clerk designation. She will be sorely missed.

5. Start Talking Grandview hosts substance abuse seminar

The Start Talking Grandview community group will host a panel discussion on the risks and consequences of substance abuse at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday, November 14th, at the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave.

Start Talking Grandview

The panel will feature:
  • Judge Stephen McIntosh, who serves as administrative judge for the Franklin County Common Pleas Court and heads its Drug Court and affiliated TIES (Treatment Is Essential for Success) program;
  • Dr. Sara McIntosh, a Central Ohio psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist (and Judge McIntosh’s spouse) who serves as chief clinical officer of the Fairfield County ADAMH Board and as medical director of the five-county Alvis Inc. agency which serves individuals with behavioral health and developmental disabilities;
  • Katie Clifford, former chief of the Ohio Attorney General’s education law section and former Grandview Heights school board member, serves as an education law partner with Schuster & Clifford firm in Columbus; and
  • Louis Essig, a 2009 Grandview Heights High School graduate and Start Talking Grandview board member, a public speaker on the consequences of substance abuse, including how he fell into alcohol and drug addiction, became homeless and ended up in jail as well as his ongoing recovery.
Grandview Heights’ Sgt. Ryan Starns also will join the “Not Our Kids, Not In Grandview” panel discussion as he contributes information on the impact of alcohol and drug abuse on crime in our community and the surrounding area. He also shared information at a previous Start Talking Grandview event earlier this year.

For more background on this important community issue and this week’s panel discussion, please read a preview story on the panel discussion published in This Week Grandview in late October. 

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 05

The Tuesday Top 5: November 5th, 2019

Posted on November 5, 2019 at 5:04 PM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: November 5th, 2019


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

1. Wyman shelter eyed for cold weather rental

The Grandview Heights Department of Parks and Recreation has begun advancing a plan to extend the potential rental season for the shelter house at Wyman Woods.


Director Patterson said his staff had already identified a need to upgrade the old 100 amp electrical service line serving the shelter, which underwent an extensive renovation and upgrade five years ago. The installation of 200-amp service would better serve existing demand at the shelter and allow the installation of a ventilated heating system.

That latter project could allow holiday rentals beyond the current October 31st season end and open rentals in the early spring before the current April 1st start of the shelter season.

Patterson said the Parks division is working to find suitable ductwork and insulation that doesn’t distract from the aesthetics of the open ceiling preserved in the 2014 renovation project. The cost of the electrical work is expected to run $10,000 and the whole project about $20,000.

Patterson said the cost will be recouped over time through the $200 per day rental of the facility on early winter and early spring weekends. The work could get underway yet this year.

2. Parks & Rec shelter reservation policy under review

More changes regarding the shelter houses could be in the offing soon.

Director Patterson said the City also has a possible change in the works on when folks can begin reserving shelter houses under consideration. For years Parks and Recreation has opened up registration for a calendar year on the first business day of the New Year for the April through October season.

The policy change still in the discussion stage would allow reservations on a rotating calendar were at the end of a month, another month would open up for reservations that could be 12 or 18 months in advance, once a decision is made.

Patterson said this would allow family and class reunions, graduation parties, weddings and birthdays as well as corporate events to book the shelter houses at Wyman Woods and McKinley Field Park earlier, especially those families or groups holding events the same weekend every year. That proposed policy must still get formally reviewed by the Grandview Parks Advisory Board before implementation. I will keep you updated on that discussion.


3. Parks & Rec program registration now open

Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff residents can now begin registering for winter programming.
The City’s community guide should have made its way into residents’ mailboxes by late last week or early this week, just ahead of the opening for registration for youth and adult programming. 
Residents of Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff can log in using this link and begin registering today, November 5th. Non-residents may begin registering Tuesday, November 12th.

Winter Snip

New options for residents include Friday ice skating at the Chiller and a December 27th trip to Mad River Mountain for tube sledding. These and other programs may get filled quickly, so those interested in those should take advantage of the registration ahead of nonresidents.

If you haven’t received your printed copy of the activity catalog, log in here and scroll through the pages of sports and special events that may interest you. With a third recreation supervisor on staff this year, the Parks & Rec has expanded its offerings this winter.  Take a look and choose activities to remain active exercising and learning through the gray winter months.

4. Sgt. Jackson retires after 25-year career

A familiar face known by many in our community and a true community officer has retired.  I want to let everyone know a long-term member of the Grandview Heights Division of Police Sgt. Leslie Jackson retired effective November 1st after 25 years with the Division.

Jackson jointed the department on September 11th, 1994 as a rookie officer and spent her entire career working to keep our community safe.  I would always see her at community events, especially around school activities and of course events like the Ox Roast.  She was always friendly and interactive with community members.  She received the promotion to sergeant in September 2011, making her the City’s first female to serve as a police sergeant.

I want to extend my best wishes to Sgt. Jackson.  Have some fun, you deserve it.

5. Halloween beggars find fun despite challenging weather

Blustery weather could not hold back the spirit of Halloween late last week.

Most Central Ohio communities joined Grandview Heights in marking the candy-and-costumes holiday on Thursday, October 31st, the traditional date for marking All Hallows Eve.

The falling temperatures seemed to do little to hamper the door-to-door trick-or-treating for the first hour. Our home did notice what seemed a drop off the second hour. Recreation Department’s joint 7th annual Howlin’ Halloween with the Grandview Heights Public Library still attracted hundreds of children in costume (with many parents joining in the wearing of fancy dress).

A walk around town revealed many youngsters through teens braving the elements and yards with wonderful, if not spooky, decorations. Even businesses got into the celebration, including the staff of Grandview Dental Care who gave a few dozen beggars toothbrushes to remove that Halloween candy from trick-or-treaters teeth.

Here’s a sampling of images of Halloween 2019 in our town: 







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 05

The Tuesday Top 5: October 29th, 2019

Posted on November 5, 2019 at 5:04 PM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: October 29th, 2019


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

1. Library Foundation, Parks & Rec plan Buck Park “StoryWalk”

The Grandview Height Public Library Foundation and the City have signed an agreement to create a book tour of sorts around C. Ray Buck Sports Park.


Plans call for the installation of 18 stations along the walking path circling the Buck Park athletic fields as a way to promote literacy and exercise at the same time, according to Eileen McNeil, director of patron services at the Grandview Heights Public Library. Each station will have two pages from a fiction or nonfiction children’s picture book, which tend to run about 32 pages. The “StoryWalk” books would emphasize early childhood literacy through age 8 and include questions for the young readers to answer at each station.

“I had seen them at other libraries and thought it would work well here,” McNeil said. The planned display cases and reading materials will come through vendor Barking Dog Exhibits, whose showcase presentations McNeil said she encountered during a visit to the Greene County, Ohio library.

She said the Buck athletic fields attract lots of families, including youngsters attending their older siblings’ ballgames, making it a perfect venue for the StoryWalk.


The Foundation will pick up the $9,000 cost of the reading stations, including the installation of the display cases. McNeil said she expects that installation to take place in late spring 2020.
The Foundation and library are regular partners with the City and the Parks & Rec staff in an endeavor to make this a great community. In recent years, the Foundation has sponsored the availability of WIFI at City Parks and the library regularly does joint programming with Parks and Recreation, including sponsorship of outdoor summer concerts and other programming.

2. Swimming pool attracting crowds, revenue

Swelling daily pool admissions has again led to higher revenue at the upgraded municipal pool.

Director of Finance Bob Dvoraczky has reported total receipts of $340,366 during the 2019 swim season, up just a bit from 2018’s $333,152. That increase was driven by daily pool admission receipts of $158,840 in 2019 vs. $150,847 in 2018. (Daily pool admissions in 2019 came from about 21,400 guests, Parks & Recreation reported.) Daily admissions accounted for receipts of just $56,669 in 2016, the last year before the City opened the expanded pool complex.

The Department of Parks and Recreation recorded 977 pool passes sold to Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff residents, combined, and another 182 passes sold to nonresidents. Those season passes brought in a total of $170,453 in 2019 vs. $170,963 in 2018 and $68,460 in 2016.

Dvoraczky’s report also shows the pool, for the third year in a row, also more than covered all of its expenses, netting nearly $19,000 after four straight years (2013-2016) operating a bit in the red amid rising operating expenses when the old pool remained in operation.

3. Beggars’ Night, Howlin’ Halloween party set for 31st

Some last-minute reminders regarding activities for Halloween.

Those heading out for trick-or-treating may do so from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Households passing out treats should turn a porch light on to indicate participation and/or sit outside if the weather meets your temperature requirements.

Division of police cruisers will patrol the streets, occasionally stopping to offer kids treats.

Meantime, the Parks & Recreation staff will co-host the 7th annual Howlin’ Halloween celebration in the atrium and lower level of the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave. That celebration will also run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The library event will feature costume contests at 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., with prizes from the Members First Credit Union. Activities will include crafts, games and, of course, candy at various stations in the atrium, Youth Services section and the large public meeting room. Grandview Heights’ firefighters will be among those handing out goodie bags that evening.

HowlinHalloween 1


4. Safety reminders for Halloween

Halloween certainly offers opportunities for kids to have fun dressing up in costumes and begging for treats. While many sensible safety rules are well-rehearsed for experienced parents, the City would like to remind folks of some of the basics amid tips for getting ready for this once-a-year night of fun.


Here are a few suggestions to make this a safe Halloween;

Make sure costumes fit well, with masks that don’t obscure peripheral vision and pants/skirts that don’t drag on the ground;

Use reflective tape or costumer highlights on dark-colored costumes – or carry a flashlight – so drivers can see the kids.

Accompany younger beggars, and older kids should walk in groups as a safety precaution;

Remind children to walk, not run, between houses and stay to on the sidewalks where possible;

Inspect all treats for possible choking hazards and tampering;

Favor factory-wrapped candies over homemade treats; and

Avoid brushing costumes and accessories up against lit candles and pumpkins.

This is not an exhaustive list. Parents can find other specific tips at the Centers for Disease Control website here and other online sources. Following common sense safety measures goes a long way to making this Halloween happy.

5. Pumpkin Run, carving attracts celebrants

Halloween started early for those taking part in the 41st Great Pumpkin 5K Run and companion Tiny Tots Pumpkin Trot the morning of Saturday, October 26th.

Pumpkin Carve 1

About 498 runners ages 6 and older from Grandview Heights and Marble Cliffs, throughout Central Ohio, Northeast and Southeast Ohio and even three from Pennsylvania ran in the 5K run. And 79 of 105 kids 5 and under also took part in the Pumpkin Trot down Oakland Avenue.

Pumpkin Run 1

Pumpkin Trot 2

Pumpkin Trot 1
The fastest time among the 5K runners finished just under 17:56. 

Parks & Rec hosted a pumpkin carving party after school at Pierce Field park on Thursday, October 24th, so elementary kids could help decorate the start/finish line for the Pumpkin Run and Trot.

Pumpkin Carve 3

Pumpkin Carve 2

Pumpkin Trot 3

Hats off to the Parks & Rec staff for organizing these well-attended events.  

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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