Changes in Central Ohio

Compiled by Gary Budzak -

This Taco Bell is now open in Sunbury.

This Taco Bell is now open in Sunbury.

Gary Budzak | The Sunbury News

The Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Courtesy image

It seems like every week you drive by something, you notice changes to the communities where you live, work and visit. The next thing you know, your favorite restaurant is gone, and some apartments are in its place. Although far from exhaustive, we thought we’d mention a few of the changes in central Ohio we’ve noticed over the past year (not all physical), with help from local websites and other sources.


The most obvious recent change is the opening of the Taco Bell. The Sunbury Plaza parking lot was repaved, Chase Bank is being built, and the Health District is moving in.

Meanwhile in town, a restaurant is going in across from the Village Square. The town hall is being renovated, hopefully in time for Christmas on the Square on Dec. 1. The Sunbury/Big Walnut Area Chamber of Commerce says there are two new attractions this season: Model Train Display, sponsored by Chamber member Triple J Realty & provided by the Delaware County Model Railroaders Group on the 2nd floor of the Town Hall! There’s also a reindeer: take a photo with Comet right outside the Town Hall (Sponsored by Triple J Realty and Contract Processing & Title).


The new wastewater treatment plant tanks are complete, construction of the building is in process, and architectural details have been chosen. Shelly and Sands is in full swing on the construction of the State Route 3 lane improvements/traffic light project being coordinated by the Delaware County Engineer’s Office.

Council approved repairing the north end of the Walnut St. brick road with asphalt. The road, designed by EMH&T and built by Complete General Construction in 2014, has failed. It was built as a storm water basin and it is believed that the sub-base is not adequately handling the volume of water. This results in the aggregate base and bricks moving and creating an uneven surface.

Law General Contracting has started construction on the Galena Brick Trail north of Holmes St. Delaware County Friends of the Trail (DCFT) will lead the last Trail Bike/Walk of the year on Sept. 30. The event will start at 2 p.m. at the Depot Lot, 268 N. Walnut St. Bring your helmet and come learn about progress on the Ohio to Erie Trail.

Construction will start in September on M/I Homes’ Retreat at Dustin condominium project with 52 stand-alone condos in the first phase. The homes will be like those at M/I’s Retreat at Warner on the southeast side of Hoover Reservoir that can be viewed at Pulte Homes is moving forward on infrastructure plans for homes and condos at Arrowhead Lake Estates. Only one lot remains in Homewood’s Estates at Blackhawk Phase C. Engineering planning continues on Phase D and Miller Farm.

Genoa Township

Here, people are thinking about what may be going in. There are two issues for residents on the November 6 ballot: A referendum on the rezoning for the Ravines at Hoover and Genoa Township Police Department have outgrown their current building and so voters will decide whether or not to fund the construction of a new police station..

Berkshire Township

On Thursday, June 28th, developer David Glimcher and his partners held a press conference revealing initial plans and a video presentation about their proposed Planet Oasis project. The entire development would be located in Berkshire Township, near the I-71 36/37 exit. The press conference was attended by state, county and township officials, as well as local media. The size of the proposed development caused a lot of press to be generated, not just locally, but nationally, too.

Planet Oasis Update: As of September 5, 2018, the township has not received any zoning applications for the project. When an application is received it will show on the agenda for the Zoning Board meeting for which it is scheduled.

While its still waiting for proposed development plans on Planet Oasis or whatever it’s going to be called, there was a Parks Master Plan Open House on October 15th. EDGE Landscape Architects, together with their partners, presented the final draft of the Berkshire Township Parks and Trails Master Plan.

Berlin Township

The Boards of Trustees for Berkshire Township, Berlin Township and Delaware Township, of Delaware County, collectively requested bids for residential solid waste, recyclable materials, and yard waste collection and delivery for processing or disposal for the collective unincorporated areas.

The Recycling Drop-off was discontinued at Arrowhead Elementary School on Hollenback Road in Berlin Township due to the increase in student population. Berlin Township residents should utilize their curbside recycling program. DKMM is working to increase capacity at the Olentangy High School drop-off location at 675 Lewis Center Road. The containers are located on the east/right side of the school.

Concord Township

Congratulations to Concord Township Firefighter Bob Barcus. Bobby was the top fundraiser in the 2018 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. He has raised $6,800 in donations for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Delaware City

Downtown Delaware named a “Great Place in Ohio.” Spokesman Lee Yoakum writes, “We knew that downtown Delaware was a great place. Now it’s officially an award-winning great place! The Ohio Chapter of the American Planning Association in October selected our downtown as “Great Place in Ohio” award winner. The biennial awards program honors outstanding physical spaces throughout the state.”

In the meantime, crews are setting the poles and message boards on West Central Ave. for the advance-warning system for vehicles too tall to pass under the CSX rail bridge. Vehicles too tall will trip a laser beam further back from this spot, triggering ahead a flashing message that will alert drivers to stop immediately. When activated, the warning sign will also flash a phone number for assistance getting turned around. The signs will be dark at all other times. This won’t completely “solve” the problem of drivers not paying attention, but it will help reduce the number of incidents. The City received $215,000 in state funding for the project but will complete it under budget, for around $180,000. Once the poles are set, a second crew will return in a week or two to wire everything and make it operational.

A new entrepreneurial center opened at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Delaware County

Applications were being sought for Developmental Disabilities and NorthStar New Community Authority boards; as well as the DATA Bus Board.

Delaware Township

In mid-September, Section Line Road between 37 and Warrensburg Road was reopened.


The City of Dublin will be making some changes at the S.R. 161/Riverside Drive roundabout to better accommodate driver behavior and traffic patterns. Specifically, the northbound lane assignments will be changing. These changes will be implemented in mid-October and will require the intersection to be closed for an extended weekend. Monday, October 15, through Thursday, October 18, there will be overnight lane restrictions, from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for preparation work. Traffic will be maintained in all directions during this time.

The S.R. 161/Riverside Drive intersection is scheduled to be closed from 8 p.m. Friday, October 19 through 5 a.m. Monday, October 22, weather permitting. Although the City recognizes that any intersection closure is an inconvenience, this work has been scheduled for a time that presents the least amount of disruption for drivers and the safest environment for the workers.

This work is weather dependent and the schedule is subject to change. Should weather prohibit the work from being completed, the City plans to postpone the closure until the following weekend, Friday, October 26 through Monday, October 29.

Franklin County

The Franklin County Office Tower at 373 S. High St. was temporarily closed for preventative service maintenance on Saturday, September 29, 2018, through Sunday, September 30, 2018.


Edgar Merritt was named the City’s new Director of Recreation and Parks. Merritt will oversee 26 parks, a community center, senior center, two pools and various community programs.


With the anticipation of new playground equipment being installed in October, the old playground equipment at Hannahs Park is being removed and the area will be closed for the season. The Shelter House is still available for use.

Knox County

The Kokosing Scenic River marked 50 years with that designation, the first such in the state.

Lewis Center

Former football player Joshua Perry appeared at a tailgate event at Evans Farm on Sept. 29.


The Palace Theatre is celebrating its 90th year. Upcoming events there include a concert by country group Diamond Rio on Nov. 2.


Bids were accepted for the construction of Marengo Sidewalks located at West Williams Street & West Walnut Street, Marengo, Ohio.

Mount Vernon

The Siemens Energy Inc. plant has shut down. Siemens announced earlier this year that the plant, which employed 400, would be closed by Sept. 30. It was originally a Rolls-Royce plant that employed 800 before being acquired by Siemens in 2014.

Orange Township

The Delaware County Engineer’s office closed First Street between Lewis Center Road and Franklin Street for a culvert replacement on Monday, October 1, 2018 through Friday, October 5, 2018.


Scioto Township said that Jacktown Road was closed October 3-8 for replacement of a culvert. The work is weather dependent.

Scott Anderson has been appointed the new Police Chief. Scott was appointed after serving as the interim Chief for the past year. Kenny Schindewolf was selected as the Village Maintenance Supervisor. Kenny brings years of landscaping and maintenance experience to the village.

Oxford Township

The Delaware General Health District sprayed for mosquitoes on Oct. 2 in Ashley and Oxford Township.

Plain City

Plain City marked its bicentennial this year. Sponsors included the Madison and Union county farm bureaus.


Crews began construction to widen the Grace Drive and Liberty Street intersection for a future traffic light starting Monday, Sept. 24, weather permitting. The Powell Police Department plans to add extra enforcement at the Olentangy and Liberty Street intersection in order to reduce the number of motorists making illegal left turns during the prohibited time frame.

Scioto Township

Captain Brian Dilley writes, “The Scioto Township Fire Department in Ostrander was recently a grant recipient of a FireHouse Subs Foundation grant. We received a Kubota UTV for our community. As part of the grant we had our “media day” at the Fire House Subs Restaurant operated by Paul Belle on Sawmill Road on October 20. We have also just received news that we have been awarded an additional grant for a portable generator light tower. This was just recently awarded and has not yet been delivered. This grant too through the Fire House Subs Foundation.”

Shawnee Hills

The annual Village Picnic was held Sept. 30 at the Village Pavilion by the Police Department.


Median construction along Cleveland Avenue, between Schrock Road and the entrance to Mount Carmel St. Ann’s, continues. All work is weather permitting.

DHL Construction Begins – A pair of earthmovers transfer topsoil to a storage area and fill dirt onto the grounds where DHL is building its new North and South America headquarters in Westerville near the new Renaissance Hotel. My Final Photo for Aug. 23, 2018. UPDATE


Worthington voters will decide whether to give the City authority to pool the community’s buying power with the goal of lowering household electric bills and increasing renewable (green) energy usage.


New self-driving shuttle hits Columbus streets

Self-driving shuttles will hit the streets in Columbus Sept. 19 as part of an initiative announced in July by Smart Columbus and DriveOhio. The project is designed to provide education and a first-hand experience with intelligent transportation for residents and visitors. The low-speed shuttles will be operated by May Mobility — an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based startup — without passengers starting this week while the route is tested and mapped. The shuttles will begin accepting passengers in December. The shuttles will service destinations along Columbus’ Scioto Mile, which include the Center Of Science and Industry (COSI), the Smart Columbus Experience Center, Bicentennial Park and the new National Veterans Memorial and Museum.

The Green Belt Network

The six Green Belts now under development by Columbus Recreation and Parks are a network of over 92 miles of trails winding throughout the urban fabric of the city.

Some of the region’s most famous trails – the Olentangy, Alum Creek, Scioto, Blacklick, Camp Chase and Big Walnut – will form a system of interconnected loops in Columbus. Ranging from four to 32 miles long, these beltways will offer new ways to experience great parks, neighborhoods, culture and some of the best scenery in the city.

Columbus Recreation and Parks’ five year plan, in tandem with our close partners within Central Ohio Greenways (COG), looks to build 17 trail projects towards the Green Belts network. -Learn more

New Trails Projects

With over 62 miles of Recreation and Parks trails along our greenway corridors, hundreds of thousands of users now travel the network to parks, schools, downtown, and commuting to work. The expansion of the network currently includes over 10 projects reaching further in all directions, and increasing direct access for Columbus neighborhoods and our surrounding communities. All in pursuit of the Mayor’s goal to have everyone in Columbus live within a few minutes of a trail.

Olentangy Trail Improvements and Bethel Rd. Connector

The Olentangy Trail is the busiest trail in Ohio with several segments of the trail receiving over 1,000 uses per day. Trail use has grown substantially in the past decade, and path congestion has become a well-documented occurrence. A further obstruction is the lack of safe access for thousands of residents along the Bethel Road/Olentangy River Road corridor. This project seeks to remedy these unsafe conditions by:

~ Widening the trail from 9’ to 12’ to increase capacity.

~ Constructing a fully compliant connector ramp from the trail to Bethel Road.

~ Constructing a shared use path along Bethel Road to Olentangy River Road/Anheuser Busch Park, creating a new, easy access trail head.

Shepard Connector

The Shepard Connector to the Alum Creek Trail will build a 0.5 mile direct connection to the regional trail from Leonard Avenue. The project would be built along an abandoned rail corridor owned by Recreation and Parks between Leonard Avenue and the Alum Creek Trail at Hayden Park. Construction of the project will be partially funded by Clean Ohio Trails Fund (ODNR).

Franklinton Loop

Conceptual planning for development of a neighborhood recreational and commuter loop proposing additional on and off street facilities while utilizing existing infrastructure.

Blacklick Trail – Portman Park to Refugee Rd.

The Blacklick Trail is a 14 mile regional trail along the south east side of Columbus. Thousands of trail users each year travel the greenway from Three Creeks Park to Blacklick Woods Metro Park. A final critical gap in the trail occurs near the intersection of Refugee Road and Hines Road. Approximately 750 l.f. of trail has not been constructed including an approved underpass beneath the Norfolk Southern Railway.

Olentangy Trail – Henderson Rd. Safety Impovements

The Olentangy Trail is considered to be the busiest trail in Ohio. Several segments of the trail receive over 1,000 uses per day. The Henderson Road Bridge was widened in 2005 to accommodate the trail on the bridge deck. However, the steep turning radius ramp from the bridge to the underpass beneath requires improvement. This original ramp does not meet Recreation and Parks design standards, or federal AASHTO Trail standards. This project will construct a new ramp configuration which reduces the steep grade, widens the turning radius, and significantly increases sight distance for all trail users.

Goodale Street Bike Improvement – Now Open!

A new trail and big connection! Goodale Street Bike Improvements Project is a trail along the north side of Goodale St., from Michigan Ave. to Olentangy River Rd. and a new connector ramp from Goodale St. down to the Olentangy Trail. Trail users can finally access the regional trail and new routes into downtown and Grandview Heights.

Camp Chase Rail Trail – Under Construction!

We’re working hard on 3.5 miles of trail through the Hilltop. The entire Camp Chase Rail Trail will stretch over 12 miles, from Big Darby Creek to the west side of the city. The trail will also be a key link of the Ohio to Erie Trail, spanning over 325 miles from the Ohio River to Lake Erie.

Scioto Trail – Fifth to McKinley

This section is now open! This east/west trail extension will connect thousands of residents and workers on the west side of the Scioto River to the regional trail.

Olentangy Trail – Worthington Hills Extension

This main trail extension will improve a connection to the Olentangy Trail for Worthington Hills residents. Improvements include connections to a shopping center, new trailhead facilities, and crossing safety upgrades. The project is now under design. Scheduled for construction in 2018.

Alum Creek Trail – North Columbus Connector

A new connection for thousands of residents along Westerville Road, north of Morse Road. The east/west connector will use a utility corridor and short on-street improvements to complete a 1 mile connector path.

This Taco Bell is now open in Sunbury. Taco Bell is now open in Sunbury. Gary Budzak | The Sunbury News

The Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University. Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University. Courtesy image

Compiled by Gary Budzak