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Aug 13

The Tuesday Top 5: August 13th, 2019

Posted on August 13, 2019 at 1:56 PM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: August 13th, 2019

 

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

1. School Back In Session

Grandview Heights students return to classes on Wednesday, August 14th, so I wanted to offer a few words of caution to residents dropping off children as well as those commuting to work during the early morning and mid-afternoon hours.

The Stevenson Elementary is always an area on concern because it hosts some of the youngest members of our community, Kindergarten through Third Grade.

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The unsafe, mid-block crossings by parents and children on First Avenue, as well as unsafe drop-offs and pickups without properly parking the vehicles, greatly concern me. The best option is to use the school designated drop-off on Hilo Lane for drop-off and pick-up rather than the congested West First and Oxley Road.

Blocking of the driveways of private homes also became an issue in that area last year. The City in the last month has marked no parking zones around town with fresh yellow paint as a reminder where drivers cannot park, even if for ‘just’ a few minutes.

Late last school year, the City unveiled various signage improvements to remind drivers to slow down during transition times at the school.

The one improvement near Stevenson many may not have recognized yet is the signalized crosswalk at Virginia and West First avenues designed to improve the safety of pedestrians crossing First Avenue. Vehicles are required to stop when the light is flashing. Pedestrians: please heed the warning to remain on the outlook for drivers not adhering to the flashing warning.

Rest assured the Grandview Heights Division of Police will continue to monitor safety issues around our schools and will again be visibly present along the most heavily traveled routes to school. But alert drivers and tuned-in pedestrians are the key to keeping our students safe during the coming school year.

2. Mayor’s Picnic Anchors Endless Summer Fun

Even with the start of school, there’s still a lot of summer fun in the air to experience. The Grandview Heights Parks & Recreation Department will assist my hosting of the Mayor’s Picnic at Wyman Woods on Sunday, August 18th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The event will feature activities such as family games (starting at 2 p.m.),and a large water slide for that big splash (bring your bathing suit). A favorite with many children and some adults is the “Touch a Truck” that offers residents to get up close and look and look at various City trucks, vehicles and equipment.

There will also be information about the City’s recent planning efforts and updated information on the proper way and the items that can be recycled.  Come down and get updated on what is going on.

We will offer free pizza, root beer floats and cookies.

I really hope to see you there.

In other summer fun this week, the City and Grandview Heights Public Library will host the second Music at the Yard concert on Thursday, August 15th at First Avenue Park, This concert will feature rock/pop band George Barrie Band.

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The fun begins at 4:30 p.m. with a few activities with the concert running from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The third and final concert will take place on August 22nd at the same times. At least 150 residents enjoyed the first of the three Music at the Yard on August 8th. 

3. Voluntary Camera Registration Sought To Combat Crime

The Grandview Heights Division of Police late last week launched a voluntary program to register private security surveillance cameras to assist in solving incidents of crime in our community.

The division has activated the registration website for willing businesses and residents who have cameras that record exterior activity. Those who register will only get contacted when investigators have information suggesting a surveillance camera may have recorded useful video near that specific exterior location.

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The division expects quick access will reduce the time it takes investigators to track down and identify potential suspects.

On that same topic of community safety, I would like to extend my appreciation to the Division of Police and Division of Fire for their interaction with residents during the Tuesday, August 6th National Night Out at Wyman Woods organized by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

We estimate more than 300 attended the community gathering despite iffy weather at the start and the wind and rain that shortened the event.

4. Third Avenue Trestle Project Chugs Along

The installation of the new CSX trestle over West Third Avenues has advanced in recent weeks, but the completion of the project spurred by the widening of the West Third Avenue under the trestle may get delayed again.

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Phillip Sekela, the Columbus Division of Public Service construction engineer overseeing the project, said contractors installed the first of two trestle spans over West Third on August 1st. The second span will get laid into place soon after the expected delivery of the steel structure on August 19th.

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That installation should not result in a long closure of westbound West Third. In fact, Sekela said it may only result in a closure of a few minutes as a crane sets the span in place.

That said, the engineer also said the general contractor Complete General Contracting in late July projected a completion date of December 17th rather than the September 13th target established earlier this year. Columbus has challenged the contractor to detail the reasons for the proposed extension.

In recent weeks, crews have been installing storm sewer and water lines in the closed eastbound lanes of Third in front of Chick-fil-A.

I will update residents on that when we have more information.

            

5. U.S. Ranking Puts Grandview Heights In Top 10

Community surveys and national rankings of all sorts come across the newswires every few months, stirring up excitement at city halls, chambers of commerce and, of course, travel and tourism bureaus. 

Most of these rankings start with the same U.S. Census data (estimated between official decennial censuses) and place varying weights to certain statistics and often other data or formula to emphasize one community attribute or another preferred statistic.

The City and the Grandview Heights City School District often rank high on these lists, as well they should. But you can’t take them all seriously, even if they’re legitimate, although they are fun to look at.

I received one such ranking earlier this year from some outfit called HomeSnacks that ranked Grandview Heights as the No. 1 among the 10 Best Place to Live in Ohio, or as the press release stated, “the cream of the crop.” Director of Administration Patrik Bowman quipped at that time that Homesnacks “crunched the numbers” to come up with their list.

Two more surveys have emerged in recent months.

In April, Realtors.com ranked the 10 best Cities for New Grads to Live, Work Play in the United States with the Columbus area ranked No. 3 in large part because of the sizzling hot home market:

“The hottest housing market in the nation is not the East or West Coast – it’s the capital of Ohio.  And thanks to the surge of young professionals moving to the city in Americas heartland, the popularity of walkable neighborhoods near downtown has exploded … (including) … German Village known for its brick cottages, or Grandview Heights with charming homes built in the 30s and 40s.”           

Now, a survey just released in recent weeks by Business Insider: placed Grandview Heights No. 8 in their Top 50 communities to Live in the U.S.,a showing that mirrors HomeSnacks claim that we’re tops in Ohio.

In fact, the ranking also tapped Dublin (No. 43) and Bexley (No. 41) as well as two Cincinnati area enclaves and a Cleveland suburb in the Nation’s Top 50.

I believe things will continue to be better for our community over the next decade as Grandview Height as City and School District leaders strive to further refine the quality services and unique community amenities that make Grandview the special place it is. I have no doubt the 2020 Census and the statistics it generates in the coming years will keep our corner of Central Ohio near or at the top of future rankings for years to come.

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

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