By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER

CAREY — A Carey planning committee met Monday to review 28 village projects Monday with plans to establish a time frame for the next five years and assist the administration with annual and long-term budgeting.

The committee includes councilpersons Jennifer Rathburn and Chase Fletcher, residents James Knox and Dan Hark, Mayor Armand Getz, Fiscal Officer Nickie Coppler and Brian Spencer, public works department supervisor. Village Administrator Roy Johnson also will be part of the committee, but was unable to attend Monday’s session.

The committee can only make recommendations to Village Council, but is unable to take any action.

During the nearly 90-minute discussion, the committee decided to develop a priority list of projects, which is expected to be available for review at its next meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 10 in council chambers.

The committee determined main goals are infrastructure improvement and expansion, technology upgrades, downtown paver leveling and irrigation system repairs for watering downtown planters.

The largest item on the list is construction of a new water tower near U.S. 23, off South Vance Street. It could help spur development in the area, control volume and improve water pressure.

The tower, estimated at $1.5 million, would replace the Waterworks Park “stand pipe” constructed in 1887. Maintenance of the older tower costs about $50,000 per year.

Other projects included: an automatic reader system for water and electric; online bill payment/credit card option for utility bills; salt storage bin at the West Findlay Street Public Works Department, to replace the Toledo Street location; an park improvements, including swimming pool repairs and wading pool upgrade; an upgrade of the Ogg Street electric substation for an estimated $3 million to nearly $4.5 million; and a possible new electric substation at Arrowhead Commerce Park to meet needs of potential new industries locating there.

The committee also discussed a 24-hour drop area for recyclables at the public works property.

Also, there was a brief discussion about the East South Street property where the former Carey school, which is being demolished, was located.

While village and school personnel had discussed a land swap with the school for a portion of Memorial Park adjacent to the school which includes the high school baseball diamond and football stadium, the school board was not interested, preferring to sell the former school property to one developer.

While utilities would need to be installed at the former school site, committee members said it would be suitable for a community center, walkway, soccer fields, restrooms and parking.

There are also discussions with the school district, Getz said, to purchase property for extension of Memorial Park Boulevard and construct a third entrance into the school property. The additional entrance would further reduce congestion in the area during school days.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
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