Groveport Messenger - October 31st, 2021

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October 31-November 13, 2021 www.columbusmessenger.com Vol. XXXIX, No. 10

Suspects caught in

two recent crimes

By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

Groveport Police were involved in the solving of two recent

crimes and are also working to stem the recent thefts of catalytic

converters from vehicles.

Restaurant robbery

According to the Groveport Police, on Sept. 27 around 6:30 p.m.

a male wearing gray sweatpants and a black jacket allegedly committed

robbery the Subway restaurant at 6029 Groveport Road.

The suspect left the scene on foot after allegedly stealing about

$226 from the restaurant. No one was injured in the incident.

Groveport Police Detective Mike Sturgill said the suspect

allegedly told the restaurant employees he had a gun, but he said

witnesses indicated the suspect did not show a gun.

Sturgill said the 23-year-old suspect, who is from Columbus, is

linked to 24 other similar robberies in Whitehall, Reynoldsburg,

and Columbus.

According to Sturgill, the suspect was identified after a

Columbus Police analyst went through surveillance videos and

then put the information through a police data base.

“It was determined it was (allegedly) the same guy,” said


“This suspect was arrested by Whitehall Police in reference to

robberies in their jurisdiction and Detective Sturgill received a

confession from the suspect regarding our robbery,” said

Groveport Police Chief Casey Adams. “We are waiting on the

Franklin County Grand Jury to come down with an indictment

from our case and the other robberies that this person of interest

committed in the central Ohio area.”

Trailer theft

Also, according to the Groveport Police, on Oct. 11 a white,

2020 carry on, 16x9 foot cargo trailer, owned by Skills USA and

valued at $7,500, was reported stolen from the Eastland Career

Center parking lot, 4465 S. Hamilton Road.

“The trailer contained around $46,000 worth of items for career

center students,” said Groveport Police Detective Josh Gilbert.

“The property was only valuable to the students as they were

awards for the kids.”

See SUSPECTS, page 2


Libby Gray

Groveport Madison Board of Education

• Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting - The Ohio State University

• Master’s Degree in Taxation - Capital Law School

• Co-Chair - Committee for Better Schools

• School Board President - 3 yrs

• School Board V. President - 2 yrs

8 yrs. of success

• Financial stability • Funding for new HS

• Programming to prepare students beyond HS

Because Experience Matters

Paid for by the committee to elect Libby Gray NOV. 2, 2021

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove

Happy Halloween!

Darren Roberts hangs up a scary ghoul as volunteers

worked to set up this year’s Blacklick Haunted Park. The

scary event, sponsored by the city of Groveport and

Groveport residents, was held Oct. 22, 23, and 24 in

Groveport’s Blacklick Park. Proceeds from the event will go

to Groveport Madison Human Needs and the Groveport

Food Pantry.

Hometown Realtor

Marylee Bendig

580 Main St., Groveport, OH 43125

(614) 218-1097


Sain Insurance Agency Inc.

Lisa Sain, Agent

Groveport, OH 43125


Bus: 614-830-0450

A name you KNOW,

the name you TRUST

GM band in

state finals

By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

The Groveport Madison High School

Marching Cruisers make beautiful music

and delight audiences with precise formations.

Because of these talents, the band is

headed to the state marching band finals.

The Marching Cruisers, as well as more

than two dozen other bands, will perform

in the state finals on Nov. 7 at Dayton’s

Welcome Stadium. The Cruiser band will

perform its competition show, “La Nouba

from Cirque du Soleil.”

At the state finals, all bands are rated

based on general effect, visual quality, and

music execution.

The Marching Cruisers last qualified

for the state finals in 2018 and the band

program has a long tradition of qualifying

for state finals.

See BAND, page 2

Being there

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Former church has a new owner

By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

Some smaller scale development plans are being

made in the area of Groveport’s historic downtown.

Historic former church sold

According to Groveport Development Director Jeff

Green, the historic former Groveport Presbyterian

Church, 275 College St., has been purchased by Mark

Ours of MODE Architects.

In a written report to Groveport City Council,

Green said MODE Architects is currently located in

German Village in Columbus and Ours plans to move

the business into the former church once renovations

are completed.

“Plans are to restore the interior to its original state

and use the space for studios, meeting space, and

offices,” said Green.

The Groveport Presbyterian Church congregation

conducted its final worship services in the building last

July. The church had served the community since 1853.

Former hot rod shop

In a written report to Groveport City Council,

Green said Dr. Alec Land of the Groveport-Canal

Animal Hospital, purchased the former Floyd’s Hot

Rod Shop building, which is located on the southwest

corner of Main Street and Wirt Road.

Green indicated Land is working with Avery Ward


Continued from page 1

“Our big strength this year is the wonderful work

ethic and determination of the students,” said the

Groveport Madison High School band director. “They

receive critique, work hard to improve, and their hard

work continues to pay off. Our students are truly

proud, ecstatic, and are determined to keep working

hard through the remaining time until state finals.”

Reaching the state band finals after the challenges


Continued from page 1

Gilbert said the suspect, a 36-year-old Columbus

man, was located by partnering with other law

enforcement agencies from areas where he had

allegedly stolen other trailers, sharing information to

include surveillance images and other intelligence, as

well as tracking the suspect through the locations of

his cellular phone.

“This suspect is linked to numerous enclosed trailer

thefts across three different counties,” said Gilbert.

“Charges will be filed.”

According to Gilbert, the suspect allegedly admitted

during an interview that he shaves off the VIN from

the trailers, paints them with exterior housing paint,

and sells them, usually making any where from $2,000

to $4,000 per trailer.

“Detective Gilbert obtained a confession regarding

this large dollar theft of a trailer and tools from

Eastland Career Center and, again, we are waiting on

the Franklin County Grand Jury to go through the

indictment reading process to officially charge the suspect,”

said Adams.

When asked how people can secure trailers so

thieves cannot drive off with them, Gilbert said, “Most

of these trailers contained locks on them in an attempt

to stop the suspect from hooking up to them, but he

would simply cut the lock. It’s recommended to place

something in front of your trailer so thieves can’t back

up to it or secure it indoors or a fenced in area. This

suspect checks them for GPS tracking units and would

of Little Italy restaurant to develop plans for the former

hot rod shop site.

“Avery has an interest in expanding the restaurant

and Dr. Land has interest to expand his practice as

well as provide some additional retail, office, and possibly

residential space,” wrote Green. “The primary

impediment to moving forward with any development

of the site is parking.”

Green said city staff is meeting with Land and Ward,

as well as their architects, to discuss “ways to address

the issue and allow the development to proceed.”

Income tax revenue

The city of Groveport’s income tax revenue year-todate

as of Sept. 30 was $13.1 million, which is 10 percent

higher than the same time in 2020, according to

city of Groveport Finance Director Jason Carr. Income

tax revenues year-to-date comprise 61 percent of all

city total revenues. Carr also noted the city’s general

fund balance as of Sept. 30 is nearly $1.9 million higher

compared to the same time last year.

Upcoming legislation

Groveport City Council is considering legislation

that would increase greens fees and golf cart rental

rates at the Groveport Municipal Golf Course as well

as increases to the non-resident rate to the outdoor

Aquatic Center pool. Both items will be discussed at

council’s Nov. 15 committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the

municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.

of dealing with the COVID pandemic for an extended

time is a big accomplishment for the band. It will also

be the first time appearing in the state finals for the

sophomore and freshman students.

“Our students’ work ethic will continue to push us

through having a successful year and continuing the

tradition of a successful band program,” said the band


cut them from the trailer after stealing them.”

Catalytic converter thefts

Recently thieves have been stealing catalytic converters

by cutting them off of vehicles and then selling

them for the metals the devices contain.

“Catalytic converters contain three precious metals

- platinum, palladium and rhodium - which are

extremely valuable at scrap yards,” said Gilbert.

Gilbert said the thieves typically like to target box

trucks and other commercial vehicles as their catalytic

converters are more valuable and usually each vehicle

has two catalytic converts. On personal vehicles they

target SUVs and trucks because they are easy to crawl

under to get to the catalytic converters. He said the

catalytic converter thefts are occurring mainly in

Groveport’s warehouse districts, but some thefts have

happened in residential neighborhoods and at the

Groveport Recreation Center.

“This is an extremely difficult crime to stop as the

suspects hit random vehicles and there is no link

between the suspect and the victims,” said Gilbert.

“Using a battery powered saw the crime is very quick

and virtually impossible to stop.”

Gilbert said there is legislation working its way

through the Ohio Statehouse to attempt to regulate

the scrapping of catalytic converters without some

form of proof of ownership as well as limit the scrap

yards from giving cash for the converters.


Groveport’s 2022 budget reflects streamlined finances

By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

The city of Groveport’s 2022 budget is

leaner than in year’s past.

However, city officials said there will be

no loss of services nor are any projects

being postponed.

Budget overview

“The proposed 2022 budget reflects continued

investment in public infrastructure

improvements and the continuation of quality

services provided to the community,”

said Groveport City Administrator B.J.

King. “All combined, the 2022 budget shows

a reduction of nearly $8 million when compared

to the overall budget for 2021.”

Total estimated appropriations for 2022

are $41.9 million, which is down about 16

percent from $49.9 million in 2021.

Since there will be no loss of services or

projects in the reduced budget, what kinds

of things were cut instead?

“This budget cycle directors did a

tremendous job of identifying budgets they

can operate within,” said King.

“Discussions were held with each director

to determine how critical certain items for

their budget. We will still have an annual

road improvement program, will complete

sidewalk repairs, will continue brush and

leaf pickup, and so on…This budget truly

targets the needs of the city.”

Total estimated generated revenues for

2022 are $35.7 million, which is down 7.9

percent from $38.8 million in 2021.

“The anticipated combined revenue for all

funds is down $3.1 million,” said King.

“However, the issuance of debt last year,

which is considered revenue, skews the total

estimated revenue for 2021. The reduced

revenue is attributed to the reduction of debt

proceeds issued in 2021 for the construction

of the two new Main Street buildings. Debt

proceeds must be reflected in a budget as

revenue, which was the case in 2021.”

The general fund revenue for 2021 is

estimated at $16.4 million, which is up

from $15.7 million in 2021. The bulk of this

funding comes from income tax revenue,

which is projected to be $14.8 million in

2022 compared to $14.2 million in 201.

Other estimated 2022 revenues include

$514,800 from property taxes and various o

amounts in other fund categories including

Funds budgeted for interior of

the new Main Street buildings

By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

Groveport City Council plans to appropriate

an additional $1.2 million towards

the completion of the two new mixed use

commercial buildings being constructed on

Main Street.

The money will fund the interior build

outs of the structures.

“The city is providing basic fixed equipment

that will stay in the building in the

event one of the tenants leaves,” said

Groveport Development Director Jeff

Green. “The tenants will provide most of

their own equipment.”

Green said the type of equipment the

city is purchasing includes hoods, sinks,

and walk-in coolers.

“The city is not paying for interior

design,” said Green. “The city has negotiated

with the tenants to provide a ‘warm

vanilla shell’ that will include restrooms

and drywall. Then tenants will pay for

their own designs and ‘front of house’ finishes

and all furniture and fixtures.”

When asked why the additional $1.2

million cost was not appropriated at the

start of the project, Green said, “Because in

our negotiations with the tenants, it

became clear that their expectations were a

lot more than our contract with Miller-

Valentine (the contractor) provided. This

has been the final point of our tenant negotiations

- trying to determine ‘Landlord’s

Work vs. Tenants’ Work.’ Miller-Valentine

is constructing the basic shell.”

Green added that the second floor interior

of the buildings will be completed once

the first floor is complete and the tenants

are moved in and in operation.

“We anticipate part of the basic finishing

of the second floors will be part of the

2023 budget,” said Green.

Green said construction is progressing

on the 14,145 square foot Rarey’s Port (674

Main St.) and the 12,184 square foot Wert’s

Grove (480 Main St.) buildings that are

part of the city of Groveport’s 1847 Main

Project. Construction is expected to be completed

on the buildings in the spring of


The steel skeleton of the Rarey’s Port

building is visible and the steel framing

began on the Wert’s Grove structure.

In a written report to Groveport City

Council, Green said steel arrived on the

Wert’s Grove site slowly and the steelworkers’

union is “experiencing serious labor

shortages” due to the volume of construction

work going on nationwide that has

increased demand on “a workforce already

spread thin.”

“For this reason, progress on both our

buildings has been slower than anticipated

because of the number of workers they’re

able to have on this job,” wrote Green in his

report to council. “Once the roof decking is

complete on the Rarey’s Port building, (the

contractor) anticipates they will be able to

pull some workers of that project and start

erecting steel at Wert’s Grove.”

About the 1847 Main Project

The cost to construct the two, two-story

buildings is approximately $7.6 million. It is

funded by a combination of non-tax revenue

See MAIN, page 12

grants, taxes, leases, fees, and permits.

Capital improvement projects

Significant projects and purchases proposed

for 2022 include:

•$300,000 for street maintenance;

•$185,000 for a two and a half ton snow

truck and $140,000 for a front end loader;

•$1 million for cart path replacement

and $600,000 for a maintenance building at

the Groveport Municipal Golf Course;

•$420,000 for the Hickory and Brook

alleys storm alley drainage project;

•$188,000 for safety improvements at

Groveport Road and State Route 317;

•$30,000 for sidewalk replacements;

•$70,000 for curb ramp upgrades on

Main Street;

•$15,000 for Marketing Place reconstruction

and $15,000 for Director’s

Boulevard reconstruction;

•$1.2 million for interior build outs on

the new Rarey’s Port and Wert’s Grove

buildings on Main Street.

Other proposed appropriations

The proposed 2022 general fund appropriations

are estimated at $20.1 million,

which is up from $18.2 million in 2021.

Groveport Garden Club

The Groveport Garden Club meets the

first Tuesday each month at Groveport Zion

Lutheran Church, 6014 Groveport Road.

Call Marylee Bendig at (614) 218-1097.

October 31, 2021 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 3

Some other proposed 2020 appropriations:

•Revenue sharing with Groveport

Madison Schools, $1.3 million;

•Various parks improvements, $75,000;

•Funding for festivals in 2022 includes

$50,275 for the Fourth of July; $19,000 for

Christmas - A Heritage Holiday; $25,086

for Apple Butter Day; and $4,000 for the

Halloween block party; and

•$25,000 donation to Motts Military


“The Motts Military Museum is a

tremendous asset for the community as it

serves as a tourist destination,” said King.

Council is considering authorizing an

annual $25,000 donation to Motts Military

Museum for each of the next five years.

Groveport City Council will vote on the

2022 budget at its Nov. 8 meeting.





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PAGE 4 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - October 31, 2021


Local elections are important. Remember to vote on Nov. 2!


on Groveport Council?



In 2019, I ran for Groveport City Council gaining 526 supporters!

I am asking for your support again!!


The following tips can help voters prepare

for Election Day.

•Confirm your polling location. Voters

can contact their local board of elections or

visit www.Vote411.org to confirm the correct

polling locations.

•Bring photo identification.

•Confirm registration. Voters can confirm

that they have registered to vote by

contacting their local board of elections in


Vote Rupp for city council

Taxpayer money belongs to the taxpayers. We

deserve the best services while ensuring our

money is carefully spent. That is the heart of my

public service. That’s why as a trustee and school

board member, I asked the tough questions and

held feet the fire on how your money is spent.

This didn’t make me many friends among people

who like to overspend and waste your money. But

that’s okay with me. I’m not afraid to stand up for

taxpayers, even if I must stand alone.

When I was on the Groveport Madison Board

of Education, I single-handedly uncovered waste

and fraud in our transportation services. As a


Elect Bower for school board

As a lifelong community member and parent,

Seth Bower wants to help support the school district

by addressing the needs of the entire district.

Bower believes that a school board is successful

only if it is deeply rooted in supporting the community.

Seth Bower would like to address the current

issues at hand that face the district. This

includes addressing overcrowding in schools, further

engagement with the community, and identifying

ways to make Groveport Madison Schools

the school of choice.

Seth Bower will also work to build trust and

integrity within the community and the school

district. He will communicate openly with the

On Election Day

advance of Election Day.

•Be familiar with the candidates and

issues on the ballot. Voters should familiarize

themselves with the candidates and

issues on the ballot in the weeks leading up

to Election Day.

Voters should learn about local issues

that may have a more direct impact on

their daily lives.

Jack Rupp is the Plain Township Fire Chief.

Served as the Assistant Chief, after serving 27

years with Madison Township Fire Department.

Studied Retail Management / Production

Analysis at Franklin University, attended the

National Fire Academy. Holds Fire and EMS


Experienced in supervision, leadership, budgeting,

risk & strategic planning, grant writing,

also an experienced fire and EMS instructor.

Recent recognition’s: 2020 Inducted into the Ohio

Fire Service Hall of Fame, Ohio’s Distinguished

Service Award. Recognized by the Ohio Senate

and House of Representatives. Recognized by the

Ohio EMS Advisory Board.

Council should address City needs by working,

directing city administration to work cooperatively

with municipalities, county, state, developers,

small and large businesses. Ensure City

seeks all available grants, matching fund sources.

Review budgeting, spending reports for fiscal


While a new Councilman, because of my

years in public service, I would come with an

understanding that most would not have right

away. Knowledge, I have gained over the years

about Municipalities and Township regulations in

the Ohio Revised Code. Having served on a City

Charter Committee, I understand the Groveport

City Charter defines its governing process.

Currently serve as Chair of the City’s Personnel

Board of Review.


Kershner will work for you

Madison Township Trustee, I uncovered that the

company providing water to a large part of the

township had received a large tax reduction that

should have been passed on to customers.

Because I relentlessly pursued them on behalf of

Madison Township residents, all customers

received a rate reduction.

This is the kind of service I promise to provide

to our township once again: listening and

responding to your concerns, asking the tough

questions, and working for you. If elected, I

promise to live up to the title of a trustee.

community, and use feedback that he receives in

decisions that will be faced down the road. Seth

Bower will seek to promote open and honest dialogue

between community leaders and parents of

Groveport Madison Schools.

Seth Bower has lived in the school district for

over six years. As the Independence Village

block watch coordinator, and as a current board

member of Groveport Madison Human Needs,

Seth Bower has strived to address the issues that

face his neighbors and community.

A vote for Bower is a vote for our community!



I want to be your voice

If elected my priority will be what is best for

Groveport residents.

I will listen to residents concerns whether they

are at meetings, in person or on social media.

Affordable senior residential living space is a concern

I intend to look into. We need to take a hard

look at how many more warehouses will be built

in Groveport. Spending will be looked at and possible

adjustments made. This past summer there

were problems at the swimming pool, city staff

has worked to remedy those problems. I have

LaToya Dowdell-Burger is running for

Groveport Madison School Board. She brings

leadership, innovation, and service to the board.

She has experience as she currently serves on the

board as the Vice President. She is presently the

only parent on the board and represents a large

segment of our district. She is an army veteran.

And most important of all, knows there is still

work to do to ensure we are the best school district

we can be.

She's been a member of the Groveport

Community before she was officially a member

of the Groveport Community. Serving on the

Board of Education is full circle for her. When

It is an honor to serve on Groveport City

Council. I’m finishing my first elected term and

seeking re-election. I’m proud of Groveport and

the services we offer such as: excellent police,

snow removal, brush removal, sidewalk repair,

tree maintenance program, Recreation Center,

Golf Course, Aquatic Center, parks, Senior

Transportation, and Senior Center.

I’m excited to be a part of bringing new developments

to our historic downtown, which

includes three restaurants.

Groveport continues on solid financial ground

with the growing income stream in a healthy

rainy day fund.

I graduated from Groveport High School. I

received a bachelor’s degree from Capital

spoke with Seth Bowers the aquatic manager

about adding a resident entrance into the pool (no

more long lines) and trying to make the pool more

affordable for residents. I want to continue funding

infrastructure upgrades something all residents

benefit from. I want to continue giving our

great police department every tool they need to

keep residents safe and crime down. I am asking

for your vote Nov. 2. I want to be your voice.

Thank you

Wayne White


Vote for Dowdell-Burger

she returned home from her deployment in 2005,

her “Welcome Home Ceremony” was held at the

Groveport High School. Then seven months

later, she built her home and has been here ever


She knows the importance of continually

working to close the learning gaps in our district,

connect the community, parents/the board

through stronger engagement, and leveraging networks

to get the resources our students desperately

need. Her background in business management

and marketing will help connect these dots.

Please visit www.votedowdellburger.com for

more information.


Re-elect Scott Lockett

University and a master’s degree in psychology

from Ohio State University. I am semi-retired

working part-time as a psychologist for

Groveport Schools. I serve as the city liaison to

the Senior Center.

If elected I hope: to keep the city of Groveport

progressing on its current positive path; continue

to reduce our debt service obligations; shift the

focus of development from warehouses to small

business development in our historic downtown;

attract housing options for seniors; and revisit

traffic issues .

Call me at 614–804–0976, email at SLOCK-

ETT@Groveport.org, or attend any of our City

Council meetings.

The Ohio buckeye tree

One of six species of buckeye trees, the Ohio

buckeye earned its name from Native Americans

living in the area at the time of settlement. They

called the nut of the tree “hetuck” (meaning “eye

of the buck”) from its resemblance to a deer’s

eye. Early botanists discovered the tree growing

on the banks of the Ohio River and named it the

Ohio buckeye to distinguish it from its cousin, the

yellow buckeye.

During the presidential election of 1840, the

nut and lumber of the buckeye tree became a

campaign symbol for Ohioan William Henry

Harrison. He defeated incumbent Martin Van

Buren and, at the same time, launched Ohio’s reputation

as the “Buckeye State.”

Collecting buckeye nuts from the ground after

they’ve fallen and broken out of the husk in

autumn is the first step to growing a tree from

seed. Before the nuts can dry out, plant them in

about three inches of loose, well-worked soil.

A mature Ohio buckeye tree stands as high as

40 feet with a narrow crown and a trunk that’s

about two to three feet in diameter.

October 31, 2021 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 5




Candidate for Groveport City Council

Groveport Residents First






• Community Oriented

Groveport Residents First

• Positive & Optimistic

• Responsive & Accessible

Paid for by Scott Lockett


PAGE 6 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - October 31, 2021


Voting update

Early and absentee voting began Oct. 5

and will continue through Nov. 1.

As a reminder, mail-in absentee ballots

must be postmarked by Nov. 1 or dropped

off at the Board of Elections office at 1700

Morse Road, Columbus, by 7:30 p.m. on

Nov. 2.

Election Day is Nov. 2, and polls across

Groveport Madison School Board

“Because Experience Matters”

8 Years of Success

• From Financial Crisis to Financial Stability


Libby Gray

Franklin County will be open from 6:30

a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Boards of election

•Franklin County Board of Elections is

located at 1700 Morse Road, Columbus, OH


Phone 614-525-3100 and fax 614-525-


• Funding for a New High School

• Major Repairs to Existing Buildings

• Programming to Prepare Students beyond High School

• Forward Thinking Implementation of One-to-One program, assigning

computers to every student K-12


Paid for by the Committee to Elect Libby Gray

Visit the website at vote.franklincountyohio.gov

•Fairfield County Board of Elections is

located at 951 Liberty Drive, Lancaster,

OH 43130.

Phone: 740-652-7000 or 614-322-5270.

Visit the website at www.fairfieldcountyohioelections.gov.


Because experience matters

During my tenure, the district went from

financial crisis to stability. In 2014 we had $43K

in the bank. The district borrowed $5M from

future tax revenues. With hard work, we no

longer borrow from future tax revenues and have

a $5M forecasted savings account. We secured

the funding for a new HS, which was needed due

to overcrowding, structural issues and not

designed for technology. We made major repairs

on existing buildings and eliminated three leases

by purchasing a building bringing the support

staff to one location. I have been an advocate for

the pathway programs that started during my

Our school district is failing. We need leaders

who will work hard to repair the damage done by

unsuccessful leaders like Libby Gray, who prioritized

the demands of an out-of-control administration

over the district’s needs. The failed leadership

of Libby Gray must come to an end.

Academic performance plummeted during

Mrs. Gray's time on the board. For example, reading

proficiency among 8th graders was 81 percent

in 2014, 52.9 percent in 2019, and 29.1 percent in

2021. She voted to stop recording board meetings;

she approved multiple No-Bid contracts to

favor vendors; she voted to spend millions on renovating

the Administrations building (DSC),

while our students are housed in modular units

tenure. Not all students want to go to college, and

we must prepare students for beyond high school,

whether going off to college or straight into the

workforce. We currently have the traditional college

pathway along with pathways in multiple

fields with credentials to build a resume while in

HS. I am proud to be a part of a forward-thinking

board that implemented the one-to-one program,

assigning computers to every student. When

COVID hit we were able to transition to online

learning immediately. My name is Libby Gray

and I would appreciate your vote for re-election.


It’s time for a change

What is it that attracts first time homeowners,

young families, industries, and commercial

investments to a community? A great school district!

Unfortunately, Ohio Department of

Education rates the Groveport Madison School

District among the lowest performing in the state

and have the lowest graduation rate in Franklin

County. Our schools are not only failing our children,

but they are failing our community and negatively

affecting our growth. It’s time for a


Right now, our school board has empowered

the district superintendent with decision making

capacity with little or no oversite. The board has

no sub-committees and accepts only recommendations

from the superintendent for major expenditures.

Under this system, the district has spent

millions on no bid contracts for emergency

repairs, engaged a bus transportation service that

is struggling to service our district this year and

accepted academic goals for the 2021-22 where

less than 50 percent of our children are performing

at grade level. It’s time for a change!

Hi, I’m Betty Simcox and I want to bring

change to the Groveport Madison School District.

Our school board needs to work for the community

by providing the oversight they are elected to

do. I am asking for your vote to make that



I will hold school

administration accountable

and current buildings need major addition/renovations

or replacement; salary and benefit

increases to administrators including amending

current contract; and cited by the state for misuse

of taxpayers’ dollars.

I’m Wayne Bryan, a passionate community

leader and Groveport Madison HS alumni. I’m

fed up with our local school board’s lackluster

performance. I pledge to be open and honest in

my oversight. I will hold the administration

accountable for bad performance, raise teaching

and learning expectations, support fair competitive

bidding, and always be transparent with the


Thank you for your Nov. 2 vote.


October 31, 2021 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 7

Vote Pro-Public Education Candidates

Bowers • Dowdell-Burger • Gray

A lifelong member of the community and parent, Seth is focused on positive

growth and continuing to move the district forward in order to ensure all students

have the same opportunities for success. Seth has actively helped on levy and bond

campaigns and has a vested interest in our schools.

LaToya is a strong advocate for education, youth, diversity and inclusion

and understands first hand the needs for our special education and gifted

students. Her problem-solving skills are a great asset to the district as we

have seen unprecedented challenges over the past few years. Helping

prepare our students for success after high school is LaToya’s top priority.

Libby has lived in the district for over 27 years, and her extensive background

in accounting and taxation law will help ensure fiscal accountability. She has

helped move the district from financial distress and having to borrow from

incoming tax revenue to financial stability. She is a strong advocate for the

pathways program at the high school so students have other options for

success beyond graduation.

Groveport Madison Local Education Association supports Seth, LaToya and LIbby.

Their combined skill set will continue the district’s forward momentum. Vote on Noveber 2 nd

PAGE 8 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - October 31, 2021

Groveport history films

Two documentary films on the history

of Groveport, produced by the Groveport

Heritage Society and Midnet Media, are

now available for viewing online on

YouTube. The films are: “Groveport: A

Town and Its People” and “The Story of

John S. Rarey and Cruiser.”

Letters policy

The Groveport Messenger welcomes letters

to the editor. Letters cannot be libelous.

Letters that do not have a signature, address,

and telephone number, or are signed with a

pseudonym, will be rejected. PLEASE BE


Messenger reserves the right to edit or

refuse publication of any letter for any reason.

Opinions expressed in the letters are not necessarily

the views of the Messenger. Mail letters

to: Groveport Messenger, 3500 Sullivant

Avenue, Columbus, OH 43204; or by email to




(Distribution: 20,634)

Rick Palsgrove ...................................Groveport Editor


Published every other Sunday by

The Columbus Messenger Co.

3500 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43204-1887

(614) 272-5422

The Columbus Messenger Co. reserves the right to edit, reject or cancel

any advertisement or editorial copy at any time. The company is not

responsible for checking accuracy of items submitted for publication.

Errors in advertising copy must be called to the attention of the company

after first insertion and prior to a second insertion of the same advertising


Keep tabs on the latest news in

Groveport & Madison Township

Look for Groveport Messenger on

Become a fan!


Historic fountain restored by students’ efforts

By Rick Palsgrove

Groveport Editor

Water is flowing once again through the historic stone fountain

in front of Groveport Elementary School.

The 92-year-old fountain has had periods when it operated nicely

with water gently cascading down its stone pillars and other

times when it has been dry after it developed leaks. Now, through

the fund raising efforts and research of the Groveport Elementary

Student Council and their teacher advisors Carole McGonigal and

Stephanie Escue, the fountain is restored to its former glory.

“The masonry work has been completed,” said McGonigal. “It

was sanded and sealed. The stones on the outside of the fountain

were cleaned and repaired where needed. The pump was replaced

and is working well. There is no work remaining on the fountain

other than keeping it clean and free of debris. Our student council

for the year will work on the upkeep while we are in school. We are

debating about exactly what we want to do for the summer

months. We will definitely need community involvement for the

summer months if the fountain remains open for the summer.”

McGonigal said the restoration work was done by J & P

Caulking Inc. DBA J & P Roofing Division at a cost of $8,000.

“It was paid for by Student Council Fundraisers, Paul Atkins,

The Historical Society, Go Fund Me, the Groveport Madison

School District, city of Groveport, the Groveport Madison Class of

1970, and various community members,” said McGonigal.

She said they are estimating that “a big ceremony” for the fountain

will be held in the spring.

“We plan to shut it down just before Thanksgiving break for the

winter,” said McGonigal. “We also have landscaping to complete so

we are not ready for our big reveal just yet.”

She said student council completed several fundraisers to raise

money for the fountain.

“If people still want to donate they can do so by dropping the

donation off at the school office,” said McGonigal. “If they are writing

a check it needs to be written to Groveport Elementary

Student Council. We have the cost of the fountain covered any

additional monies collected will be for the maintenance (clean supplies,

skimmers, etc,) and upkeep of the area. Our current plan is

to plant more grass with some butterfly bushes since we are a butterfly

sanctuary area.”

She said the students are “very enthralled with the history of

the fountain and were very anxious to get it to restored for everyone

to enjoy both at school and the community members.”

According to McGonigal, the community was “extremely excited”

to hear that student council took on this project.

“We had such a tremendous outpouring of encouragement and

support,” said McGonigal. “We even received mail donations from

other states. It was so interesting to hear the stories that were

included with the donations. This fountain means a lot to many

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove

The historic fountain in front of Groveport Elementary has been

restored and its waters are flowing once again.

people and it was really awesome to be a part of restoring this icon

for our school.”

Fountain history

The fountain is believed to have been constructed around 1929.

It was given to the Groveport Madison school district by the first

four graduating classes (1925, 1926, 1927, and 1928) to graduate

from Groveport High School (now Groveport Elementary). The

three story red brick Groveport School, located at 715 Main St.,

was built in 1923 and first opened for classes in 1924-25. The

school housed all 12 grades for many years.

The oval shaped fountain is 17 feet wide and 13 1/2 feet across

at its exterior points. It is less than a yard deep at its deepest

point, though, when operating, the water level is kept much lower.

It is made of limestone and shale with four stone pillars rising

from its center.

The four pillars represent the four graduating classes who

donated the fountain and their year of graduation is etched into

the base of the pillars along with the words, “A memorial of gratitude

from the first four classes to graduate from the Groveport

Madison High School.”

The fountain’s stones are a symbol of sturdy strength and the

foundation of knowledge. Its waters represent life itself and the

journeys we all undertake as we flow through life. The fountain

reminds us of simple truths in words that are etched into the fountain’s

stone to use as guideposts in life — “Know Thyself” and

“Knowledge is Power.”





Say it with an announcement ad in

the Messenger and spread the word.

You can download the appropriate form from

our Web site or stop by our office

Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Friday, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Columbus Messenger

3500 Sullivant Ave.



Mayor says he did not

endorse candidate

In all of my years as an elected official

serving the great city of Groveport, I have

never publicly endorsed any candidate for

Madison Township trustee. The statement

on Mr. John Kershner’s recent campaign

literature should not be attributed to me. I

have never provided statements of support

or endorsements for candidates for

Madison Township trustee. I believe that it

is important for the residents of Groveport

and Madison Township to independently

select which candidates they support.

Lance Westcamp, mayor

City of Groveport

Special Olympics

says thanks

Groveport Special Olympics would like

to thank the city of Groveport and surrounding

area for their tremendous support

at our annual Cash Drop, held on Oct.

16. One hundred percent of the money collected

goes to support the athletes’ sports

training and competition. We greatly

appreciate the Groveport community’s support

of our Special Olympic program and

are proud to call Groveport home.

Penny Hilty, coordinator

Cassandra Hilty, co-coordinator

Groveport Special Olympics

Campaign literature


While campaigning I ran into Mayor

Lance Westcamp and he informed me that

I had his support and I could put a sign in

his yard.

When I met him in his yard, I asked him

for a quote I could use, which is used in my

literature. He has since told me that he

intended that to be used privately not publicly.

Had that been made clear at the time I

would not have used it.

John Kershner

Candidate for

Madison Township trustee

www.columbusmessenger.com October 31, 2021 -- GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 9

A golden project

Photo courtesy of Bumgardner family via Groveport Town Hall

Girl Scout Roni Bumgardner is shown here with the benches that were created from plastic bottle caps

she collected from the community. The project was for her Girl Scouts Gold Award. According to Cristy

Duckworth, Groveport Town Hall program coordinator, the city of Groveport’s Trees and Decorations

Committee supported her project and purchased one of the benches. “Roni and her Girl Scout Troop -

along with her mother, Rosie, who is troop leader - are always very generous with their time and volunteered

countless hours doing things like face painting at Apple Butter Day. Our community has definitely

benefited from their service, not only with Roni’s project but as a whole troop,” said Duckworth.


Deadlines: Groveport and West editions, Wednesdays at 5 p.m., • South/Canal Winchester, Grove City, Madison editions, Tuesdays at 5 p.m.

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PAGE 10 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - October 31, 2021



Deadlines: Groveport and West editions, Wednesdays at 5 p.m., • South/Canal Winchester, Grove City, Madison editions, Tuesdays at 5 p.m.

All editions by phone, Tuesdays at 5 p.m. • Service Directory, Tuesdays at 5 p.m.

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Bsmt. Wall Restoration

35 Yrs Exp - Lic & Ins.

Free Ests. 614-871-3834



Groceries, Prescriptions,

etc. Dependable with

great refs at reasonable

rates. 10% sr. disc. Free

Est. Gwen 614-226-5229


Bates & Sons


5 ★ Google Reviews




Complete System Clean & Check


Free Carbon

Monoxide Testing

Gas-Oil-Electric Heat/Pumps

All Makes • All Models

45 yrs exp. • Sr. Discount









Earn FREE Seamless

Gutters with Siding Over

1000 Sq. Ft.

FREE Shutters with

Soffit & Trim

EPA Certified

Member of BBB

Financing Available

Over 20 yrs exp. • Free Est.


Owner & Operator

James 614-419-7500

10/24 A/M

11/21 A

10/10 A



SINCE 1973

Phil Bolon Contr.

Windows & Siding

Decks, Kitchens, Baths

Room Additions,

Flooring, Roofing

Bsmt Waterproofing

Deal With Small Non-Pressure Co.

47 Yrs. Exp. - Refs. Avail.


Free Est. - Financing Avail.

Member BBB Of Cent. OH

O.C.I.E.B. ID #24273


or 614-863-9912


The Lawn Barber

Cut, Trim, Blow away

Hedge Trimming, Edging

Garden Tilling





Summer, Spring,

Winter or Fall


Lawn Cuts, Edging,

Trees & Shrubs, Garden,

Mulching, Hauling,

Garden Pond &

Home Maint.

Free Ests. Low Rates

$20 & Up

Kevin - 614-905-3117


Aaron Allen


Local Moving since 1956

Bonded and Insured




over 60 yrs

in business


A Job Well Done Again

A lic. General Contractor

Some Skilled Services

Incl: Painting • Stucco,


Drainage & Home Maint.

Call Today! 614-235-1819

Classified Services




Services LLC

Minor Plumbing

& Electric

Install Hot Water Tanks,

Dishwashers & Disposals

Also Fencing &

Interior/Exterior Painting

Free Est. ~ 18 Yrs. Exp.

CDC/EPA Approved Guidelines


11/7 A

10/24 A&M









Textured Ceilings







Exp. Expert Plumbing

New Work & Fast Repairs

Lic. - Permit Available

Water • Sewer • Gas


All About Drains & Plumb.

Will snake any sm drain

$145. 614-778-2584



“Plumbing & Drain Professional

That You Can Count On”

24 Hrs., 7 Days/Week

No Overtime Charges

24 Yrs. Exp. in Plumbing &

Drain Cleaning Field

Call For A Free Phone Estimate

$100.00 For Any Small Drain


30% OFF with AD


Bates & Sons

Soft Wash & Powerwash

5 ★ Google Reviews



Any house wash $149+tax

Single deck $69+tax

2 Tier deck $99+tax

Best Wash in Town

Over 45,000 washes

Ashley 614-771-3892


Robinson roofing & repairs

30 yrs. exp. Lifetime Cols.

resident. Lic./bonded/Ins.

Reas rates. Member of

BBB. Dennis Robinson

614-330-3087, 732-3100



REPAIR all makes 24 hr.

service. Clean, oil, adjust

in your home. $49.95 all

work gtd. 614-890-5296


Brewer & Sons Tree Service

• Tree Removal

• Tree Trimming 11/21


• Stump Grinding

• Bucket Truck Services

Best Prices • Same Day Service



Trimming, Removal &

Stump Grinding.


11/7 A&M

11/7 A

10/24 A&M

PAGE 12 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - October 31, 2021

Groveport Police statistics

September crime statistics, according to the Groveport Police:

10 arrests, 20 accidents, 4 assaults, 0 burglary, 3 domestic disputes,

5 domestic violence, 0 OVI and alcohol, 21 thefts/robberies,

1 stolen/unauthorized use, 1 missing persons, 1 weapon related

call, 1 narcotic related offense, 13 Groveport Madison Schools

criminal reports, 1 parking, 2 threats, 2 vandalism, 1 juvenile

complaint, 11 traffic citations, 2 sex related crimes, 1 suicide


Veterans Day

Groveport will hold its traditional Veterans Day ceremony on

Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. in Veterans Park, 421 Main St. The guest

speaker will be Motts Military Museum Director Warren Motts.

Twenty memorial bricks with the names of veterans will be added

to the Veterans Park plaza.


Continued from page 3

bonds and tax revenue bonds. According to Groveport Finance

Director Jason Carr, non-tax revenue bonds equal taxable bonds

and tax revenue bonds equal tax-exempt bonds. He said the project

will be funded by general obligation bonds, which are bonds

from the bond market and are not property tax bond issues that

would be voted on by the residents.

Three restaurants will occupy the lower levels of the Wert’s

Grove and Rarey’s Port buildings. They include: Delaney’s Diner -

a breakfast, lunch, brunch restaurant that will occupy 4,000

square feet of space with a patio on the west end of the Rarey’s Port

building; Preston’s: A Burger Joint and Honey’s Fried Chicken,

which will occupy a little under 3,000 square feet on the west end

of the Wert’s Grove building; and Mmelo Confectionary & Café - a

high-end chocolates and confections place that also offers breads

and pastries, a full lunch and dinner menu, and made to order specialties,

coffee and espresso - will occupy around 2,300 square feet,

plus patio, on the east end of the Wert’s Grove building.

GriefShare group

The Groveport United Methodist Church

GriefShare group will host a special event

on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m, at the Groveport

United Methodist Church, 512 Main St.,

Groveport. “The Surviving the Holidays”

video seminar is for people who are grieving

a loved one’s death. The video seminar is

combined with support group discussion of

the materials presented during the video.

There is no cost for the seminar. To register,

call the church office at 614-836-5968 or

sign up at https://www.griefshare.org/holidays/events/39197.

School Help Centers

The Columbus Metropolitan Library’s

School Help Centers are now open offering

K-12 students after-school help, plus 24/7

access to free tools and resources.

Plus, students can get connected with

virtual tutors for one-on-one help Monday

through Friday from 2-11 p.m. using


Masks are required to visit School Help

Centers. Hours vary by library location.

Visit columbuslibrary.org/school-help for


Southeast Library

The Southeast Branch of the Columbus

Metropolitan Library is located at 3980 S.

Hamilton Road, Groveport. For information

visit For information visit

www.columbuslibrary.org or call 614-645-



Our Pictorial Past by Rick Palsgrove

Photo courtesy of the Groveport Heritage Museum

Downtown changes

For most of the 20th century the land on the north side of

Groveport’s Main Street just east of Front Street was home to

two gas stations, a realty office, a dry cleaner, a ceramics

shop, and a doctor’s office. In this photo, a gas station, which

was once a Sohio station and was also a Marathon station, is

the white building in the forefront on the northeast corner of

Main and Front streets. A Sunoco service station sat just

east of this station. The Sunoco gasoline pumps can be seen

along Main Street in the center of the photo. Not visible in the

photo are the Ken Realty office just east of the Sunoco station,

the dry cleaner (which later became a ceramics shop),

and the doctor’s office. Groveport Elementary can be seen in

the upper right side of the photo.

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