Two ordinances were approved with a suspension of the rules during last Wednesday’s Sunbury Village Council meeting — one with emergency language, one without.
An ordinance approving the preliminary development plan for Sunbury Pointe Apartments on South Miller Drive had two weeks shaved off Champion Real Estate’s start date with approval following two readings, but council members left the statutory 30-day referendum waiting period for the ordinance to become effective in place.
Champion Real Estate Services plans to build a 146-unit Sunbury Pointe Apartment complex at the intersection of South Miller Drive and Fairland Avenue, across the street from General Rosecrans Elementary School in Sunbury.
Champion’s chief investment officer Dan Hunter said his firm has started on the project’s engineering and architectural drawings.
“We would like to break ground in early November,” Hunter said. “About this time of year, two weeks helps a lot.”
Village Solicitor David Brehm, who cautioned against granting emergency language during a Sept. 2 council meeting, said the Sunbury Pointe project has been thoroughly and publicly vetted.
Mayor Tommy Hatfield said moving the Sunbury Pointe project forward would be in the best interest of the community.
“This will give them the runway they need, so it’s not cold and deteriorating weather when they start this project,” Hatfield said.
Another ordinance — that would ban parking on the south side of Fairland Drive from South Miller Drive to the Big Walnut Middle School entrance and on the north side of Fairland from South Miller to Woodchuck Drive — was approved during its second reading with a suspension of the rules and emergency language.
The emergency language allowed the ordinance to become effective immediately.
Hatfield said previous concerns about a nearby school bus drop-off and pickup area had been resolved; the school district plans to change the bus stop location.
In other business, Sunbury consulting engineer Wes Hall of CT Consultants said 2016 Ohio Public Works Commission Grant applications are due Oct. 2.
Hall recommended council members approve applying for paving work on Rainbow Avenue, Otis Street and a portion of East Cherry Street that was turned down by OPWC last year.
The $449,000 project would have a $150,000 local match, come with a $75,000 OPWC interest-free loan, and a $224,000 OPWC grant.
Council members briefly discussed the State Route 37 East hill, but were uncertain if the Ohio Department of Transportation would partner with the village to fix the dangerous sidewalk and roadway.
“To fix that hill right would have been $1.5 million to $1.6 million when we estimated it back in 2009,” Hall said. “That would be a $2 million project today, and safety funding is more reactive than proactive. There are a lot of alternatives to fixing that road, but not a lot of low-cost alternatives.”
Hatfield said the village had asked ODOT for help fixing the dangerous road and sidewalk three years ago.
“I’m not feeling a lot of help from them,” Hatfield said.
Because of the rapidly approaching OPWC grant application deadline, council members approved a motion to resubmit last year’s request for paving funds for Rainbow, Otis and a portion of East Cherry Street.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093