2011-11-26 / News

Former church almost ready for township

By Scott Rawdon

UNION TOWNSHIP – There’s plenty of dust and exposed drywall, but Union Township Trustee Rick Black is confident the Union Township Complex will be complete by Jan. 1.

“The big thing we’ve got to do is paint,” he said. It’s been a slow process to change the former Licking Baptist Church into a combination police station/records room and township administration center. The church was bought at a foreclosure auction in August 2010 for $310,000. The building needed to be brought up to security specifications to house the police station and records.

All the new walls are complete and security measures are in place, and Black said it’s only a matter of cleaning up the drywall dust, doing some work on the carpets, and, as mentioned, painting walls. “We know we can make it by Jan. 1,” said Black. “Hopefully, we’ll be in there before then.” Currently, the trustees hold meetings in the complex and it’s been rented out for private functions.

Black said the Park National Bank has donated office desks and chairs. Township records will be moved to the complex soon.

“There is drywall dust everywhere,” said Township Administrator Paula Greene. She said phone and Internet service has yet to be installed, but it would be in a matter of days. Greene said the township officials and employees have helped as much as possible to save on expenses. “Everybody’s been pitching in,” she said. “It won’t be much longer.”

Greene said the current Union Township Police Department and zoning office, on Refugee Road at the Buckeye Executive Airport, is rented and once vacated, “It goes back to its owner,” she said. Rent is $200 per month.

In other township news:

• Trustee Jesse Ours said during Monday night’s regular trustee meeting that a resident is due to have the culvert beneath his driveway replaced, but wants a wider culvert than the township usually installs.

“The policy is, we’ll replace a 20 foot culvert,” said Black. He said the township used to use galvanized steel drainage pipes that eventually corrode and need replaced. Black said the township now uses plastic pipes, which last much longer. “Galvanized steel only lasts so long,” he said, and the township agreed to replace those culverts when necessary. Black said the resident wants widen his driveway to make it more navigable, and the resident will have to pay for anything beyond replacing the 20 feet steel culvert.

• Black said the Coughlin Auto Group wanted to cover a storm drainage ditch leading from a new dealership site to a nearby stream. The group is building a Toyota dealership on a 5.6-acre lot adjacent to the group’s Hyundai dealership near Ohio 79 and Ridgley Tract Road. “They’d like to have a closed ditch,” said Black. He said trustees prefer that the ditch along Ridgley Tract Road remain uncovered. Although not as attractive as a covered ditch, an open ditch would allow for more capacity during really heavy storms and could decrease the possibility of flooding. “(A closed ditch) would look good, but it would be restrictive on volume,” he said.

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