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City of Grandview Heights Blog

Jul 16

The Tuesday Top 5: July 16th, 2019

Posted on July 16, 2019 at 3:40 PM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: July 16th, 2019


Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5! Your source for the latest info. on what is going on in Grandview Heights.

1. 2019 City Revenue Remains on Budget

I wanted to offer a brief update on the City’s financial performance through the first six months of 2019.

Income tax receipts collected through the Regional Income Tax Agency totaled $8.45 million through June. Finance Director Bob Dvoraczky in his June finance report to Council said that combination of individual taxes paid, withholding taxes and business net profits taxes put the City “on target” for the budgeted $15.8 million for 2019 “with some upside potential.”  Dvoraczky noted the withholding taxes portion has increased 15 percent from the 2018 period due to the implementation of the final phase of employee relocations for some major businesses, and the continued pace of new business growth in the city.

The Finance Department reported year-to-date hotel (bed) tax revenue hit $283,000, or $6,100 ahead of the 2018 mark. The bed tax supports the repayment of capital bonds sold to accomplish the Pierce Field and Wyman Woods renovations several years ago in addition to construction of the Municipal Swimming Pool just a few years ago.

The prospect of a hotel as part of the Grandview Crossing redevelopment at Dublin Road and Grandview Avenue and a third Grandview Yard hotel south of Goodale Boulevard bodes well for the community as a potential funding source for future Parks & Recreation facilities.

Revenues are also trending favorably thus far in 2019 for our pool, and we are on a good path both recreationally and fiscally for the season.  

2. Seven-Year Division of Fire Vet Tapped for Captain Post

The Grandview Heights Division of Fire will have its fourth captain on board effective July 18th with the promotion of James Beckett to the post.

Beckett, 33, just marked his seventh anniversary as a firefighter/medic with the Division. He replaces Mike Shimko, who retired March 1st after more than 26 years with the City.


Beckett, a graduate of St. Mary’s Memorial High School and Hocking College, first worked part-time with the Clinton Township Fire Department.  He joined the Grandview Heights Division of Fire in June 2012 after a short full-time stint with the Newark Fire Department.

Beckett lives in Hilliard with his wife and two children.

Division of Fire Chief Steven Shaner said Beckett has demonstrated a stellar work ethic and has taken on extra projects while mastering his skills as a firefighter and paramedic. The Division stands at its authorized uniformed strength of 13 firefighter/medics, four captains, a fire marshal and Chief Shaner.

3. Music In The Yard Offers Variety

Those of you who enjoyed the 34th Music on the Lawn concert series at the Grandview Heights Public Library on Tuesday nights in June and July will be pleased that the musical fun will continue in August at a different venue.

The Grandview Heights Parks & Recreation Department and Grandview Heights Public Library again join efforts to bring music to the community this summer in presenting the inaugural Music in the Yard series on three Thursday late afternoons.

The August 8th launch of the series at First Avenue Park will star Clarence White and the Johnny Appleseeds, a regional Americana/folk band with a touch of blues, Faulkner said the band created in late 2018 has already started to gain a following.

Then the George Barrie Band will take the park stage August 15th after playing several outdoor concerts in Greater Columbus this summer. The band’s offering of pop rock graced the Music on the Lawn series in 2016.

Capping the new Thursday on August 22nd concerts is Hot Tonic, a fusion jazz ensemble mixing funk and soul with Latin Rhythms. Hot Tonic also has played numerous venue this summer, including the Columbus Jazz & Rib Fest and Lancaster Arts Festival.

The Thursday events will run from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with various activities. The musicians are set to play between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

4. Nationwide Realty, Yard Vendors Sponsor August Concerts

Of course, putting on a concert series takes a strong organization and sponsor funding to make it happen.

A thank you to the staffs of Parks & Rec and Canaan Faulkner with the Grandview Library for organizing this new community event.

I am pleased to announce the organizers have signed Grandview Yard master developer National Realty Investors and a cooperative of Grandview Yard restaurants to serve as the Title Sponsor for the Thursday afternoon Music at the Yard late afternoon concerts. 

Other sponsorship opportunities remain. Businesses and individuals interested in Single Concert or Supporting Concert Sponsors should contact Recreation Supervisors Taylor Lindsey (614-481-6202) or Marta Durban (614-481-6204) for more information.

I’ll write more about the concert series as the dates draw nearer. I hope residents will come to enjoy the music and food as they get to experience the City’s newest park.

5. More Construction Starting In Grandview Yard

Grandview Yard developer Nationwide Realty Investors has started working on Block D of the Grandview Yard development along Yard Street between Williams and Burr avenues with construction equipment moving dirt in that area for a couple of weeks.

The developer has approved building permits in hand for a four-story, serpentine apartment building at 860 Yard Street at Williams with 138 units and a separate, 80-unit apartment at 830 Burr at Rail Street.  

The city has yet to receive an application for a planned office building next to the 860 Yard apartment.

Documents also show a pocket park at the southwest corner of Burr and Yard where the CoGo Bike Share station is currently located.

Yard Line drawing

Block D Grandview Yard

I had written in early April that Nationwide Realty had started construction on a two-story, 38,000-square-foot office building at Northwest and Goodale boulevard.

Nationwide Realty two weeks later identified the Carlile Patchen & Murphy law firm as the anchor tenant in that office building. NRI also announced at that time it had started construction on 20, two-story townhomes spread among three buildings long Bobcat Avenue called The Junction.

Stay tuned to this blog as more information becomes available.



Tuesday Top 5 is a weekly update from Mayor Ray DeGraw and the City of Grandview Heights. For more information, visit 

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Jul 13

The Tuesday Top 5: July 9th, 2019

Posted on July 13, 2019 at 4:48 PM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: July 9th, 2019

Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5! Your source for the latest info on
what is going on in Grandview Heights.

1.  Police Sending Out Crime Prevention Notices 

We all believe Grandview Heights is a safe community, but the prevalence of minor preventable property crimes remains a concern of the Grandview Heights Division of Police and my administration. To bring more attention to preventable thefts, the Division in early July, started a notification program in instances where Grandview Heights residents have left their garage doors open late at night or left valuable items within plain view in their cars parked on the streets. Such
scenarios present the conditions for so-called “crimes of opportunity” for thieves.
Many of the suspects the Division has arrested admit they return to our community because a
high enough percentage of citizens make themselves vulnerable to theft by leaving their garage
doors up and valuables uncovered inside their cars.

Those officers on patrol will now make note of open garage doors and when they notice
valuables inside cars. The information will generate a letter from the Division of Police making
residents aware of the vulnerability of their property on that specific time and date. The notices
also will offer other crime prevention tips.

The Division notice also encourages residents to report any suspicious activity they observe in
their neighborhoods.

I am hopeful this new program will reduce “crimes of opportunity” in our community through
education and an increased emphasis on crime prevention. I would welcome any feedback on
this program and ideas how the City and our residents can work together to reduce theft and
other criminal activity.

2. Public Health Educator Joins Board

The Grandview Heights Board of Health is up to full strength with City Council’s July 1st approval of resident Dan Skinner as a new member. Skinner is a non-clinical medical educator associated with Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dublin. He has strong credentials in public health policy, prevention, and primary care. His background includes interest and research into the opioid addiction scourge in the state that led to his co-editing of Not Far From Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio, a collection of stories on the painkiller crisis that the Ohio State University Press just published in June.

Daniel Skinner

Skinner received his undergraduate degree in philosophy at State University of New York at Stony Brook and a master’s degree and doctorate (2009) in political science from the City University of New York. Skinner has served as an Assistant Professor of health policy within Heritage College’s Department of Social Medicine since 2014. His professional background also includes serving as an adjunct assistant professor within Ohio State University’s College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital since 2015 and as an assistant professor of political theory from 2010-2013 within Capital University’s Department of Political Science and Economics. I am happy welcome someone with this stellar public health policy perspective on the board of health, especially with the continued challenges the opioid crisis presents to society at large and our community.

3. Theater Troupe Presents Cinderella-Inspired Production

The Grandview Carriage Place Players will present “The Slipper and the Rose” stage play later this week. The Cinderella story gets retold at the Grandview Heights High School auditorium this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening (July 11-13th) at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 14th at 2 p.m.

Tickets cost $5 at the door.

This community theater production is a cooperative effort between the Grandview Heights
Parks and Recreation Department and the City of Columbus’ Carriage Place Recreation Center off Sawmill Road. The event offers an opportunity to experience a fun community production and
duck out of the steamy summer evenings we have experienced in the last week.

 4. Ohio Auditor Honors City’s Finance Team

Ohio Auditor Keith Faber has recognized the Grandview Heights Department of Finance as one of just five government entities statewide with clean audits from the 2018 fiscal year. The Auditor said the annual audit found the City’s finance department presented the state a financial report for 2018 free of any findings for recovery, bank reconciliation issues, material citations, or weaknesses or questioned costs. The 2018 report earned the department an Auditor of State Award with Distinction, the 8th year this honor has flowed to Finance Director Robert Dvoraczky and his talented staff. To put that in perspective, the state audits more than 6,000 government entities, and only Grandview Heights and two other cities – Brunswick and Kent – also made the grade.
“Recipients of taxpayer dollars have a responsibility to keep excellent financial records.”

Auditor Faber said in a news release. “This award acknowledges the hard work and attention to
detail required to properly track spending.”


Such quality of financial reporting and accounting prowess has served this City well during the
last decade as the community emerged from near financial collapse to a fast-growing and
thriving place to live and work. It also reflects the high-quality of public service and integrity
found throughout our City departments.

Please join me in saluting Bob and the finance team for their dedication to keeping a close eye
on the City’s finances at this state recognition of the department’s extraordinary level of

5. Celebrating Independence Day in Grandview Heights

Wallace Gardeners

For Independence Day, I sent the City’s Community Relations Coordinator, Brian Ball, out to do a photo essay on what residents did on this patriotic holiday. He found people out enjoying their day across the community. Some along Grandview Avenue – Stauf’s, Balboa, and Jeni’s – and others having a street party on Inglis Avenue.


Ice Cream on the Avenue

Balboa of the Avenue

Another couple decided to tackle the weeds and harvest zucchini in the afternoon at their Wallace Gardens plot to avoid working in the buggy evening. And of course, Brian found hundreds enjoying the municipal pool during the hot afternoon.

Pool Fun (1)

Diving at the Pool 2

 However you decided to celebrate the Fourth of July, I hope you enjoyed yourself.

Flag House 2

Inglis Street Party

Inglish Street Party 3

Inglis Street Party 4
Tuesday Top 5 is a weekly update from Mayor Ray DeGraw and the City of
Grandview Heights. For more information, visit 

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Grandview Heights:

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Jul 09

The Tuesday Top 5: July 2nd, 2019

Posted on July 9, 2019 at 3:42 PM by Laura Oldham

The Tuesday Top 5: July 2nd, 2019


Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5! Your source for the latest info on what is going on in Grandview Heights.

1. City Offers Sidewalk Repair Options

The City administration has rolled out a new policy regarding the repair of residential sidewalks.
Property owners now have the option to have the City replace damaged sections of concrete for $250 per concrete panel or grind down uneven seams for $25 in situations where City trees did not cause the damage. Sidewalks that are the owners responsibility to replace or grind are marked with a green X or green stripe.

0702 Sidewalk Green X

Property owners may still do the repairs themselves or hire a contractor within the deadlines provided.

This step follows the City’s decision a few years ago to have the Parks & Recreation Department pay for concrete damage caused by City trees in the so-called “tree lawn” between the sidewalk and street curb. Those instances are marked in white paint.

I know many of you have followed legislation first proposed in late November to have the City take total financial responsibility for the upkeep of sidewalks from residential property owners. Members of Council and City Staff debated the proposed ordinance during several committee meetings and council discussions through the winter and spring.

Council members defeated the proposed legislation, 2019-15, in a 4 to 2 vote during their June 3rd meeting. Those opposing the shift of responsibility supported an administrative solution to reduce the hassle of contracting for sidewalk repairs rather than forever shifting the unknown future costs and potential liability to the City and, ultimately, to City residents who have maintained their own sidewalks over the decades and in the last few years.

This policy not only sets a cap on the cost of sidewalk replacement, it also encourages residents to more quickly address the hazards uneven or crumbling sidewalks present to pedestrians walking the streets of Grandview Heights.

The Grandview Heights Building and Zoning Department has begun their annual inspection of sidewalks. Those with marked sidewalks will receive information from the department regarding the repair options.  

2. Planning Commission Sets Goal For Plan Review

The Grandview Heights Planning Commission expects to consider aspects of the Growing on Tradition Community Plan presented earlier this spring over the next few months.

Commission members agreed at their June 26th meeting that many concepts and policies of the community plan can get quickly reviewed and endorsed in the coming months. Other suggestions, such as the potential of a formal architectural review of construction projects, will require more debate before the panel can make a recommendation to Council.

Grandview Crossing Water Building

I expect the commission to present that full report with recommendations this fall.

3. Grandview Crossing Projects Advance

The Planning Commission also approved plans for a minor utiliity structure at Wagenbrenner Development’s Grandview Crossing project at the panel’s June 26th meeting as the developer also gave a sneak peek of the timetable for the major components of the mixed-use development.

The panel approved the water meter building set within a pocket park of sorts just east of the northwest entrance into the development off Grandview Avenue.

Grandview Crossing wide view

Project architect J. Carter Bean said the addition of a covered seating area and the use of materials in the color palette of the rest of the development is meant to allow the water meter building to blend into the project, while offering an amenity for the stretch of green space along the bike path between Grandview Avenue and the first road junction inside the development.

Construction of the meter building – set just south of the NAPA-anchored retail building at 844 Grandview Avenue – and extension of waterlines into the project must take place before other projects  can get under way.

Wagenbrenner Development partner Steve Simonetti said the developer expects to announce a developer for a high-end, 177-bed senior apartment project in a few weeks. The developer also continues to work on the hotel flag.  

The residential project and two of three retail buildings slated for the Grandview Heights portion of the redevelopment of the former landfill site should begin by or in the first quarter of 2020.

The Columbus portion of the project will include a parking garage in the early construction phase to serve the entire Grandview Crossing project, a fitness center, apartments, and office space.
Council cleared the way for the projects in early March when it approved financial incentives
for the project.

I will update residents on these projects as the developer reveals details.

4. Tech Tenant Moves into 855 Grandview

Another technology-driven business from the SciTech campus on Kinnear Road has moved into the multi-tenant commercial property at 855 Grandview Ave.


WebPresented LLC, the developer and provider of a proprietary sales research and marketing software, this week relocated into 3,200 square feet on the second floor of the building anchored by the Loth Inc. office furniture business. It moved from 1275 Kinnear Road, a part of the SciTech collection of tech and incubator spaces, within Ohio State’s research park.

WebPresented COO Mark Stamm said the company began as an IT consulting firm in the early 2000s. In more recent years, it has focused its effort on development and rollout of a proprietary customer relations and management software for the sales and marketing teams of businesses in the wholesale distribution sector.

He declined to reveal employment numbers for competitive reasons, but Stamm said the company targets middle market businesses with sales between $50 million and $750 million.

The 855 Grandview building in late 2018 had attracted the interest of ScriptDrop, a provider of logistics software and a driver network to pharmacies.

Colliers landlord representative, Dan Dunsmoor, said he and colleague Ross Lanford now have the building fully leased.   

5. Saluting Family On The Homefront

As candidates for City Council and Mayor begin to circulate petitions for this November’s municipal elections, I now formally can tell you something I’ve known for many months: I will not run as a candidate for mayor this fall.

It has been my pleasure to have served this town for nearly 16 years as its Mayor after 19 years serving on various commissions, boards, and City Council. Those 35 years mark half of my life!
My tenure as mayor began just after Penn Traffic shut down the Big Bear grocery chain, which anchored what was then the City’s industrial district with its distribution operations and headquarters. This community nearly faltered financially in the aftermath of that and the 2008 Great Recession that followed nationally.

Since then, that 100 acres or so has become the vibrant mixed-use Grandview Yard and we are positioned for a strong financial future.

I thank this community for allowing me to have a front row seat to the whole transition as the administration worked with Council, the school board, Nationwide Realty Investors, other project developers, consultants and community volunteers to quickly rebuild our economic base.

What role I played in rebuilding Grandview Heights and preparing it to thrive for years to come I owe to the patience and support of my wife of 42 years, Linda; my children, Melissa and Matt; and their children.

Mayor 2

I have missed more than a few family meals and functions and had to rescheduled events to make critical meetings in the management and redevelopment of the City while contributing to resolution of community concerns and issue. For 35 years we have scheduled our lives around the City.

It seemed like my wife and I could not take a walk without me beginning stopped along the way to being asked “just one question.” Going to the grocery store to pick something up quickly could turn into a half hour discussion.  

For now, I’m planning to remain fully engaged in a number of items I would love to see finished before my term ends.

After that, you’ll still see me around Grandview Heights as Linda and I enjoy our wonderful hometown.

Meantime, have a special time with your friends and family during the Independence Day celebration this week.

Tuesday Top 5 is a weekly update from Mayor Ray DeGraw and the City of Grandview Heights. For more information, visit 

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