WILMINGTON — The cost has gone up on phase 1 of the Airborne Connector road project, with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the city of Wilmington covering the additional $528,000.
The increased amount on the price tag is due to safety improvements that need to be made to the alignment of where the new roadway will meet Cuba Road.
Changes need to be made to improve the line of sight for motorists, according to Wilmington Director of Public Service Larry Reinsmith, who discussed the matter with city council Thursday night.
Council approved a measure on Thursday so the city can accept and administer $343,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Jobs & Commerce Economic Development program to go toward the road project.
The city, for its part, will spend $185,000 for the added safety improvements. Previously, the city had not contributed funds to the project, Clinton County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Taylor Stuckert said Friday when contacted.
The intended goal is to start construction next year, said Stuckert. Phase 1 involves building a roadway from Cuba Road to U.S. 68, directly in front of American Way and near the Ahresty manufacturing plant.
Art initiative in spring
Next spring, 100 photographs of area residents will sprout up outdoors as part of a global public art initiative called the Inside Out Project.
Council heard details about the local plans from stained-glass artist John Schum of the Wilmington Arts Collaborative group.
The effort here stems from Denver Place Elementary School art teacher Doug Davis, who wants to encourage creativity and civic involvement among his young students, said Schum. The arts collaborative group gave a boost by donating $1,000.
The photo portraits, printed on vinyl, will include 50 community members, 25 Denver Place students and 25 Wilmington Middle School students. The adult portraits will feature farmers, business leaders, clergy, educators, physicians, artists and skateboarders.
The theme, Wilmingtonians have grit, is meant to promote the spirit of Wilmington.
The plan is to temporarily display the photos around town in places such as light posts, city hall windows, school buildings, storefronts, and yard signs in residential neighborhoods.
Wilmington Mayor Randy Riley said he liked the idea, in particular its theme of Wilmington’s grit and the student involvement.
Local professional photographer Kim Law will take the photos.
In other business:
• Council authorized a lease agreement with Runway Logistics, LLC for Building 2 at the former Randall Textron facility, which is city owned and under the auspices of the city’s Wastewater Department. Riley said the rent dollars must go to the city’s wastewater treatment fund and could serve as a “revenue stream” to meet EPA requirements and also help keep sewer rates from going up.
The term of the lease is for three years.
• A measure was passed to establish a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) in the city that residents can benefit from when their homes undergo certain improvement projects. Councilman Joe Spicer cast the lone vote against, saying he is for the project itself, but that there is “too much unanswered.”
The objective of the CRA is to give an incentive to people to invest in the housing stock inside the community, say supporters.
Councilwoman Randi Milburn said people who have obtained jobs here are often not moving into Wilmington.
“They’re going to Springboro, or Cincinnati or Mason,” she said, adding the CRA is meant to draw them instead to Wilmington.
• Jonathan McKay was sworn in as the 1st Ward councilman to replace the late Bob Mead. McKay won the Republican Primary in spring 2015 for the seat and, prior to Mead’s passing, was due to assume the office in January 2016.
• During public comment, resident Vince Holmes noted the G1 zoning issue on the November ballot had been defeated by a big margin, but a council committee now is going to revisit the zoning issue in question.
“This thing should have been put to bed immediately,” Holmes said.
“It was a mistake. We tried to tell you that,” added Holmes.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.