Kirsten Mustain

Grove Sun

Grove City Council discussed long-term goals for improving the city’s power to draw tourists as well as approving the new fiscal year budget at a regular meeting Tuesday night.

City Manager Bruce Johnson reported that GRDA is seeking a site to build a $1 million bass fishing pavilion and Grove has been named as one of the possible locations for the project.

He said the 16th Street boat ramp would be the most likely site for the building, which would extend the Grand Lake fishing tournament season from six to nine months and possible draw 30 more tournaments to the area.

Johnson noted that each fisherman spends an average of $125 per day in the community.

Council members were very positive about the project.

“They (tournament promoters) have come to the Grand Lake Association wanting us to host these tournaments and we haven’t been able to because we don’t have a facility,” said Ward II Council Member Marty Follis.

In other business, the council tabled a proposal to purchase a 50’ X 70’ seasonal portable ice skating rink, which would tentatively be placed on the Community Center lawn between Thanksgiving and mid-January each year.

The total cost of the rink would be $78,000, and the city would be expected to come up with half the cost, or $39,000.

Debbie Stevenson of KGVE Radio, who is spearheading the proposal, told council members that the rink, which would hold up to 250 skaters at one time, would bring a huge influx of people to Grove for skating and Christmas shopping, and would, in her opinion, bring a lot of revenue to the city.

She suggesting that local service organizations, such a Grove Rotary and the Shriners’ Club could provide volunteers to staff the rink and that the only charge to skaters would be skate rentals.

Mayor Gary Trippensee suggested that the item be tabled.

“This is a great idea,” he said. “But I would like to get more information about it before we take any action.”

In addition, the council passed the 2010-2011 fiscal year budget with a projected $8,201,635.00 in the general fund, a decrease of roughly nine percent from last year’s budget.

The council also passed a resolution declaring Grove a “Recovery Zone” pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.

Johnson explained that the “Recovery Zone” designation would enable area industry, specifically Precision Machine and Manufacturing, to gain access to new revenue streams, which would allow them to continue improving their operation.

He noted that Grove qualifies for the designation due to the increase in area jobless rates and home foreclosures and the decrease in sales tax revenue.

The city’s resolution does not make it liable in any way, and will enable many other area businesses to access money for improvements.

Precision Machine and Manufacturing plans to add approximately 20 new jobs over the next two to three years.

Johnson also reported that ODOT would begin an overlay project between 13th and Third streets on Main and from Leisure Lane to Ford Rd. on Third on June 13. Crews will work on the project during the nighttime hours, he said.

Grove City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month in Room 5 at the Grove Community Center. The public is welcome to attend.