Winter weather tips

By Lenny C. Lepola -

The flame burns on at the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial despite the dusting of snow that fell Dec. 29-30.

The flame burns on at the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial despite the dusting of snow that fell Dec. 29-30.

Central Ohio often misses the early winter weather that plagues communities closer to Lake Erie, but when January approaches winter storms dip lower into the state and Delaware County is certain to get its fair share of cold temperatures and snow, much of it late in the winter season.

Newer Big Walnut area residents would not remember the 2008 groundbreaking ceremony for the Sunbury Mills Plaza Kroger store. That event was scheduled for Monday, March 12. The weekend before the groundbreaking the area received 20-inches of snow, and blizzard conditions resulted in a Level 3 Snow Emergency. The groundbreaking ceremony was rescheduled for the following Friday.

With January, February, and March still in front of us, the Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management recently released a list of winter safety tips for winterizing homes and vehicles before severe winter weather arrives.

To prepare your home for winter:

· Cut and remove low-hanging and dead tree branches.

· Have your gutters cleaned. Clogged gutters can aggravate ice dam problems.

· Have fireplaces, furnaces and auxiliary heaters checked and serviced before using.

· Keep your pantry stocked with 72 hours’ worth of supplies, such as food, water, specialty items such as diapers and medication.

· Check and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Have extra batteries for flashlights and a battery-operated or hand-cranked radio.

· Invest in a NOAA Public Alert/Weather Radio. A portable weather radio can also be taken with you to another location.

If you use an alternate heating source, before using generator power and kerosene heaters take time to review the manufacturer’s directions. Carbon monoxide poisoning and fire are very real dangers with the use of heaters and generators. Never leave candles burning unattended at any time.

To prepare your vehicle for severe winter weather:

· Stock your vehicle with a small shovel, a cell phone charger and a blanket.

· Check radiator coolant, hoses and belts.

· Check tire tread and wear.

· Make sure brakes are in proper working order.

· Keep spare window washer fluid in the trunk.

· Make sure the washer blades are in good working condition.

Pets and livestock are vulnerable when winter weather becomes severe. Before winter weather arrives, prepare a warm, dry shelter where animals can go to be safe from the elements, and arrange for outdoor animals to have access to non-frozen drinking water. Also have extra food and medications on hand for livestock and pets.

The Delaware County Emergency Management Agency is on the web at More information on winter weather can be found on the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness website:

Questions may be directed to the Delaware County Emergency Management Agency at 740-833-2180.

Now for the blast from the past hinted at in this story’s second paragraph.

Sunbury’s Mills Plaza and Sunbury’s Kroger store was 12 years in the making. The final development agreement included a major change at the State Route 3 and West Cherry Street intersection. Off-site public infrastructure improvements included an Ohio 3-36/37 intersection upgrade that cost in excess of $2.4 million and increased the intersections’ ODOT rating from a D-intersection to an A-intersection.

An agreement reached during 2007 limited Kroger’s and developer Vince Romanelli’s contributions to off-site improvements to $650,000 each. Delaware County contributed $500,000 to off-site improvements; and the Village of Sunbury financed $750,000 of the improvements, reimbursable through a TIF Agreement (Tax Increment Financing).

Sunbury Mills Plaza is anchored by a 74,500-square-foot Kroger store and a 62,500-square-foot Retail A building connected by inline retail units. The Sunbury Mills Plaza site plan also includes a free-standing 18,500-square-foot Retail B on the southern edge of the property.

A Kroger-owned and operated fuel station shares a right-in/right-out curb cut on West Cherry Street with occupants of ten other out-lot businesses. Only three outlots are occupied to date – Tim Hortons, Sunbury Chiropractic Clinic, and Auto Zone.

Zoning documents note that T.C. Weiser Construction Company was the general contracting firm in charge of construction; and the Sunbury Mills Plaza’s construction cost was $15 million.

The flame burns on at the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial despite the dusting of snow that fell Dec. 29-30. flame burns on at the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial despite the dusting of snow that fell Dec. 29-30.

By Lenny C. Lepola

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.