Council approves step to expanded Delaware Place


OWU Associate Chaplain Lisa Ho provides the invocation at this week's council meeting.

OWU Associate Chaplain Lisa Ho provides the invocation at this week’s council meeting.

Delaware’s city council gave unanimous rezoning and plan approval to the second and third phases of Delaware Place, which will provide affordable housing to elderly residents.

Their phase one has been successful, said Planning and Community Development Director David Efland. Phase one involved a four-story building and surrounding duplexes, with 63 units total.

Phases two and three will introduce 44 units in a three-story building, and a two-story building with a mix of 11 units and commercial space.

“These are personally exciting to me, being that I worked on Delaware Place for quite some time, as has Joe DiGenova and many of the rest of you, hopefully this is as exciting to you,” Efland said in introducing the project.

“I’ve done a good amount of research here, it’s a great opportunity to provide some much needed affordable senior housing in the community,” said applicant Denise Blake, Midwest regional developer with the Miller-Valentine Group.

Developer Denise Blake describes her plan for Delaware Place.

Developer Denise Blake describes her plan for Delaware Place.

Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle said she’d toured the site with Councilman Joe DiGenova and State Rep. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) and that the new areas were almost full even though construction hasn’t begun.



To start phases two and three, the planners will have to receive approval from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. Blake said their application deadline is February 20, and they’ll receive a response by June 17 at the latest.

She expects a groundbreaking in the first quarter of 2016, once the weather is good enough.

Council also approved rezoning for Shear Style Barber Shop and Union Electric, and a final development plan for Engineering Materials Systems.

In Council comments, Second Ward Councilman Lisa Keller discussed increasing community outreach through social media, which Mayor Riggle supported.

Efland and City Manager Tom Homan also discussed physical branding efforts for the city, including new signs and business cards, which were planned with the help of Community Affairs Coordinator Lee Yoakum.

In closing, Mayor Riggle reminded the audience that February is Black History Month, and that there will be a Valentine’s Day marriage/renewal of vows ceremony.


Suspect Facing Multiple Charges After Robbing Home Depot


(Delaware County, OH)  January 22, 2015—The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Lewis Center Home Depot at 5:00 p.m. this evening when employees called to report a robbery that had just occurred. After pulling a gun on a clerk, the suspect fled the scene, then traveled south into Franklin County. He crashed his SUV on the eastbound ramp of 270 at I-71, limped to the nearby Worthington Industries parking lot, stole a truck, and crashed a second time before being taken into custody by officers with the Columbus Division of Police.


Justin Tucker, 31, of Columbus was taken to a local hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. Following his release, he will be taken to the Delaware County Jail. He is facing multiple charges, including the first degree felony of aggravated robbery. Other charges will follow.

               According to deputies with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, Tucker was caught due to community members working with law enforcement. Employees of Home Depot and Worthington Industries provided prompt, detailed, and accurate information to law enforcement, aiding in the search and capture of Tucker.

 Source Delaware County Sheriff


Council hears concern for homeless in meeting



Mayor Riggle, Finance Director Stelzer, Auditor Yost and Manager Homan stand together after the award is given.

In a special ceremony during the city council meeting, state auditor Dave Yost honored the financial management of Delaware. Yost presented a state certificate for excellent financial reporting to Finance Director Dean Stelzer, who accepted the award on behalf of his staff. Stelzer was joined by Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle and City Manager Tom Homan, and Yost noted that Delaware was part of the five percent of cities that receive this award.

During the section for public comment, resident Amanda Henning spoke to the Council about the urgent need to help Delaware’s homeless community find shelter from the coming winter cold. Henning works at the Delaware County District Library, and said she knows 15-20 local residents who stay in the library most if not all day to have shelter, but after they close must sleep outdoors.

“I think, if we’re honest with ourselves, any one of us is a lost job, a lost relationship, a few bad decisions away from being in a similar situation,” Henning said.

Amanda Henning addresses council on the need to provide shelter for the homeless in Delaware.

Amanda Henning addresses council on the need to provide shelter for the homeless in Delaware.

Vice Mayor George Hellinger responded on the importance of the issue – one of life and death, he called it – and said that while most city finances go to “needs and wants,” few of them have this kind of impact on residents.

He’d already spoken with Manager Homan about a city response; Henning’s comments to the council followed a weekend discussion in a community forum on social media about the cold’s effects on those outdoors.

Councilman Joe DiGenova prepares to give the invocation.

Councilman Joe DiGenova prepares to give the invocation.



In the invocation, councilman Joe DiGenova also reflected on events from this weekend – specifically the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the U.S. into World War Two.

“I don’t think there’s enough emphasized at present in our media and in our education in the school system as far as what that really meant to the American people and the freedoms we have today,” DiGenova said.

The city council also looked at several ordinances concerning land and building developments, including approval – as the proximate city – of a territory acquisition for Jerome Village and a new commercial authority for Berkshire Township. They also approved an amended plan for MI Homes’ development north of Silversmith Lane.



Smoke-Testing Crews Move to Two New Areas This Week

imageDELAWARE – Through next week, City of Delaware crews will be smoke-testing the sanitary sewer lines and sewer lateral lines in the following two areas, between 7:30 am-4:30 pm:
The Industrial Park area, Pittsburgh Drive and London Road
East side neighborhoods east of Lake Street and north of Central Avenue.
City utility crews or contractors will isolate a small section of the sewer system and then blow non-toxic smoke through that section from a manhole. If there are defects in either the main sewer pipes or the private sewer laterals that serve individual homes and businesses, or if there are illegal cross-connections between the sewer and storm drain, smoke will rise to the surface and reveal these problems. This can be because of blockage, or through cracked pipes near a foundation or incorrectly connected pipes. Tree roots are the most common cause of defects. If a pipe develops a hairline crack, roots may grow toward this moisture, infiltrate the pipe, and widen the crack.

The smoke is harmless to humans, pets, food and material goods.

Any presence of smoke within the house should be reported to the crews working in the area, as this indicates locations where sewer gases can enter your home.  

Smoke testing is important preventative maintenance that helps the City pinpoint the location of sewer defects that may need repairs. Excess water infiltrates sanitary sewers each year through these defects. This raises the cost of wastewater treatment for the entire community and increases the risk of sewage overflows during storms. If smoke can exit through a defect, rain water can enter through that defect.

Our sanitary sewer system is designed to carry wastewater only. The storm water drainage system is a separate network of pipes that channels rainwater and other runoff into creeks and waterways, and eventually into the Olentangy River.

Residents with questions or concerns can call the Public Utilities Department Sewer Collection Division at 740-203-1953 or 740-203-1900.

Source City of Delaware.

Council recognizes service from all ages

Lisa Keller recognizes Joe DiGenova for his military service in Vietnam.

Lisa Keller recognizes Joe DiGenova for his military service in Vietnam.

Involvement in local civic participation and service in the national defense were prominent features of this week’s City Council meeting, held the day before Veteran’s Day.

“I just wanted to take a moment, on this Veteran’s Day eve, to honor one of our own,” said Second Ward Councilwoman Lisa Keller.

She was speaking about Third Ward Councilman Joe DiGenova, who served in Vietnam from 1965 to 1968.

“We thank you for your service to our country, and on behalf of City Council and all of America, we thank you for your service,” Keller said.

“If there’s anyone else who’s present in the audience this evening who served our country, we’d like to extend our gratitude on behalf of City Council. Thank you very much.”

During public comment, DiGenova said that they’d received funding from the County toward the Veterans’ Memorial Park, and he hopes it will be completed by this time next year – the 50th anniversary of his tour in Vietnam.

St. Mary Parish Cub Scout Loyal Eagles Patrol Pack #249 leads the Pledge of Allegiance.

St. Mary Parish Cub Scout Loyal Eagles Patrol Pack #249 prepares to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

While it’s been customary for a local faith leader to offer the invocation, this week’s meeting also saw special leaders for the Pledge of Allegiance – a local Cub Scout Pack from St. Mary’s Parish, led by Pack Leader Rob Gabel.

The Cub Scouts weren’t the only young leaders at the meeting – Council also recognized their high school counterparts in the Youth in Government program. Earlier in November, the eight students joined Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle, Fourth Ward Councilman Andrew Brush, City Manager Tom Homan and Assistant City Manager Jackie Walker in the Saturday morning event carried out with the Delaware YMCA.

The Youth in Government is usually focused on involving students in state politics, but in this new program they learned about city issues.

Local YMCA Youth in Government participants are recognized.

Local YMCA Youth in Government participants are recognized.

In general business, the city approved consideration of Speedway LLC’s request for a liquor permit at their future location on U.S. 23 North. Although local residents John and Susan McGrail raised some questions and concerns about the process, City Attorney Darren Shulman advised Council that there’d be no legal reason for an objection to the permit request.

Susan McGrail requests to speak during the liquor permit consideration.

Susan McGrail requests to speak during the liquor permit consideration.

Council also recognized and approved expansions for local acts of service – they granted conditional use permits to expand the Delaware Health Care Center and the Salvation Army’s site at 340 Lake Street. The Salvation Army hopes to build to offer short-term housing on their property, currently to between 20-24 people through double-occupancy rooms.

The city also considered an ordinance to renew their contract with the Delaware YMCA for another three years, although they held it over to a second reading.

No Shave November: Fourth Ward Councilman Andrew Brush offers advice ("Use conditioner") to Police Chief Bruce Pijanowski, who's growing a beard to raise funds for the United Way.

No Shave November: Fourth Ward Councilman Andrew Brush offers advice (“Use conditioner”) to Police Chief Bruce Pijanowski, who’s growing a beard to raise funds for the United Way.

Delaware City Council Notes: JEDD contract with Berkshire, Roops Brothers Bar Ownership

The first half of city council’s October 27 meeting was swift, as they cleared through most items as fast as possible due to the lack of power. The second half was largely focused on discussion of Ordinance 14-102, which was passed and authorizes City Manager Tom Homan to enter a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) with Berkshire Township to create a Tanger-Simon outlet mall.

City council carries on business despite the darkness.

City council carries on business despite the darkness.

The vote was largely in favor – with the exception of At-Large Councilman Kent Shafer, who was excused, and Third Ward Councilman Joe DiGenova, who voted against taking action on the second reading without Shafer being present.

Related: “Delaware City Council nears JEDD deal with Berkshire on mall

City Attorney Darren Shulman explains the details of the JEDD contract.

City Attorney Darren Shulman explains the details of the JEDD contract.

The city will receive a four percent administrative fee that the city will receive first from income tax revenue, to offset the cost of administering taxes in the JEDD. There will also be a JEDD board, which will receive one percent. Berkshire Township will get 60 percent of the rest and Delaware city, 40 percent.

The JEDD board will govern the area and will have three members – one appointed by the city, one by the township, and one by both together. When businesses fill the JEDD they will get a fourth member and workers will receive a fifth to represent them.

Assistant City Manager Jackie Walker (right) reads information by lamplight.

Assistant City Manager Jackie Walker (right) reads information by lamplight.

During the discussion among city officials, power was restored to the building and downtown Delaware; no one from the community came forward during the public hearing preceding the vote.

Council members hold the second half of their meeting in the light.

Council members hold the second half of their meeting in the light.

In other areas covered before the JEDD discussion, the city council was introduced to five new city employees who’ve recently begun working with the Economic Development and Public Works departments. The council also approved the transfer of the Roop Brothers Bar’s liquor license from an LLC owned by Al Roop to one owned by Joshua Moore and Mika Sparks.

“I’d like to thank you for everything you’ve considered for me and my brother at Roops,” Al told the council.

“…I think the city and myself needed some new guys (who are) 20 years younger to carry on the legacy of Roops in an up-to-date form and these are the guys. I thank you all.”

Greater Galena Civic Association Planning Meeting – October 14, 2014

Greater Galena Civic Association Meeting

The Greater Galena Civic Association (GGCA) invites anyone interested to a meeting at 7 p.m., October 14, at the Galena Village Hall 109 Harrison Street, Galena, Ohio 43201 to discuss the GGCA’s future direction.

Village Council approved the GGCA’s request to post banners around the square to promote local events.

More information contact the Village of Galena at 740-965-2484.

Delaware City Council Discusses Meters, Development and State Legislation In Heated Chambers

Delaware City Council Chambers Gets Hot!

This week’s City Council meeting was marked by a contentious, thirty minute discussion between Second Ward Councilwoman Lisa Keller and Public Utilities Director Brad Stanton and Dan Whited, Director of Delaware’s Public Service Group, over automated meter readers the city may purchase.

Brad Stanton, left, and Dan Whited answer Councilwoman Lisa Keller's questions.

Brad Stanton, left, and Dan Whited answer Councilwoman Lisa Keller’s questions.

City officials had vetted meter readers from Datamatic for a year, and the purchase of additional automated meter readers from a currently undetermined company would cost the city $1.5 million.

Keller found that Datamatic is now bankrupt, due in part to numerous lawsuits over hardware malfunctions and failed readers, and she questioned why this was never brought up by the vetting committee. According to the Public Utilities Director in Highland Village, Texas, at least 72 cities had sued Datamatic; Highland Village spent almost $2 million on their original meter readers and the cost to have another company fix them.

Councilwoman Lisa Keller raises questions over the reliability of automated meter readers for water bills.

Councilwoman Lisa Keller raises questions over the reliability of automated meter readers for water bills.

Brad Stanton said that he and his staff are still very confident in the technology as a whole, and that there are other companies and many other cities whose Datamatic systems did work. Keller pointed out problems with another manufacturer and remained dissatisfied.

With the air conditioning out during the nearly two hour meeting, city council worked to speed through many of the other matters at hand.

Representative Andrew Brenner speaks to the Council.

Representative Andrew Brenner speaks to the Council.

They heard a legislative update from state District 67 Representative Andrew Brenner, who described efforts he’s supporting in the state legislature, though he doesn’t expect a lot of activity before the midterms.

Specific issues he mentioned including setting a minimum amount that would have to be spent on individual schools; allowing high school students to have dual enrollment in colleges, and creating a hotel tax that could provide much needed funding for the Delaware County Fair.

They also approved development plans for Terra Alta Section 1, Part 2, east of Pollock Road, west of Berlin Station Road and north of Braumiller Road. A resolution to repeal a currently unenforced ordinance banning firearms in public parks was held over to a third reading.

Depending on the weather and status of the council chamber’s air conditioning, the next meeting may be held at an offsite location.


Delaware City Police “Explorers” To Hold Open House

Photo Courtesy of City of Delaware.

Photo Courtesy of City of Delaware.

DELAWARE – The Delaware Police Department will be hosting on open house for its Law Enforcement Exploring Program for youths Wednesday September 10 at 7 PM at the Delaware Police Department, 70 N. Union Street. The program helps bridge the gap between youth and police by educating and involving them in police operations and building interest in a potential law enforcement career.

What is the Explorers Program?

The mission of the Delaware Police Law Enforcement Exploring program is to bridge the gap between youth and police by educating and involving them in police operations and to interest them in Law Enforcement. Exploring is for young men and women 14 to 20 years of age. Exploring can further each Explorer’s education, encourage the Explorer’s participation in a rewarding and productive service activity, and enhance the Explorer’s preparation for future roles as citizen and community members. Besides gaining a working knowledge of police work, the participants have the opportunity to give of themselves to their community.

Photo Courtesy of the City of Delaware.

Photo Courtesy of the City of Delaware.

Who can be an Explorer?

You are eligible to be an Explorer if you are:
Age 14, and have completed the 8th grade, through age 20.
You have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor.
You can successfully pass a minimum background check and oral interview.

How do I join the next Explorers program?

Officer Adam Willauer can be reached at 740-203-1100 (ext 2182). Officer Austin Barnthouse can be reached at 740-203-1100 (ext. 2175)  Email

What do Explorers do?

Members can learn first-hand how Police Officers do their jobs. Officers and Detectives with special skills are invited to meetings to explain how the Police Department investigates major crimes such as homicides, narcotics violations and gang activity.

Explorer training

Law enforcement conducts a variety of programs and projects featuring safety, training, and service. The following listing is an example of some of the activities and training in which the Explorers may participate.

The history of law enforcement

Introduction to law enforcement

Note taking and study habits

Patrol procedures

Traffic control

Accident investigation and forms

Criminal investigation

Crime scene investigation

Vice and narcotics

Search and arrest procedures

Defensive weapons


Domestic complaints

Crowd control procedures

Other benefits

Being an Explorer offers many opportunities to learn valuable leadership and life skills, make new friends, interact with the public and most of all, have fun!

More Information

Officer Adam Willauer, 740-203-1100 (1161)
Officer Austin Barnthouse, 740-203-1100 (2175)

Council, Police hear racial concerns following Ferguson, Eastside Mission Expansion , and City Firearm Laws,

On August 25 – the day 18-year-old Michael Brown was buried in Missouri – echoes of the national questions on race and policing strategies that have resulted from his death came to Delaware’s City Council meeting.

Mark Butler, an African-American Delaware resident, addressed the Council and the audience during the time allotted for public comments.

Delaware resident Mark Butler, a local minister, addresses City Council during Public Comment.

Delaware resident Mark Butler, a local minister, addresses City Council during Public Comment.

“I just want to take a few moments just to reflect on some issues that are happening in our country, and in particular the recent death of a young man, a young African-American male in Ferguson,” he said, referring to Brown.

Butler expressed concerns regarding the relationship between the African-American and the police department, in light of tensions around the nation regarding unarmed African-American men killed in police confrontations recently: Brown in Ferguson, but also Ezell Ford in Los Angeles, Eric Garner in New York City and John Crawford III in Beavercreek, Ohio.

“I’m speaking from the perspective of an African-American male – I believe implicit bias and unconscious bias still exists in our community, I believe it still exists here in Delaware, Ohio,” he said.

“…We need to take care of what’s happening here in Delaware, there’s a lot happening here in Delaware with the police department.”

Chief Bruce Pijanowski of the Delaware Police Department. Photo courtesy of the City of Delaware.

Chief Bruce Pijanowski of the Delaware Police Department. Photo courtesy of the City of Delaware.

Chief Bruce Pijanowski of the Delaware Police Department. Photo courtesy of the City of Delaware.Delaware Police Chief Bruce Pijanowski was not present at the meeting, but answered questions in an interview with on August 26.

He did not directly address the racial component of Butler’s comments, saying that the remarks were “pretty complicated” and he didn’t want to speak off the cuff without reviewing them in depth.

“Profiling – I understand what it is, we don’t practice profiling,” Chief Pijanowski said. “If there’s a specific complaint that’s what I’d like to hear about and then get into the nuts and bolts of it.”

“In general I’m concerned any time a member of the public has a concern with the police department and I’m open to that…I don’t get offended when people have a concern with the police department, there has to be a dialogue.”

Pijanowski described recent efforts to connect with the community through outreach efforts such as working in school areas, holding basketball and martial arts camps, open gyms in the winter and First Friday events.

“We’re trying to be really involved in the community,” he said. As an example, he described how officers tried to be more involved with local residents, especially youths, after a nighttime confrontation between three people that led to gunfire outside Woodward Elementary School in May 2013.

He also acknowledged the difference in how he tries to approach police work and the concept of police as occupiers, an issue that’s gained national attention after police in Missouri responded to mostly unarmed protesters with military grade weapons and vehicles.

“One thing I feel strongly about is I need to police the city of Delaware the way the city of Delaware wants to be policed,” Pijanowski said. “I’m not an occupying force, and I want people to feel comfortable about the Delaware Police Department.”

He and Butler will be meeting later this week to discuss the issues raised during the Council meeting.

In Other Business

Council approved a permit for Eastside Mission Church to expand their property at 32 Joy Avenue and provided more funding for the Blue Limestone Park Wetlands Restoration Project they also considered an ordinance to change part of Section 933.06 of the Delaware Codified Ordinances regarding carrying of firearms in public parks.

The city ordinance bans such carrying, however the Supreme Court had ruled that cities could not enact gun legislation that was more restrictive than state laws to ensure uniformity; the ordinance as currently stated is technically unconstitutional according to City Attorney Darren Shulman, although it’s not enforced.

Council did not vote on the change, but agreed to postpone the vote until more information could be provided to the community.

Council also considered an ordinance to adopt the 2015-2019 Five-Year Capital Improvement Program, but did not take a vote during the meeting.

The council also heard a presentation by former Dempsey Middle School students, now high schoolers, who visited Sakata, Japan.

Former Dempsey High School students, with advisor Andy Hatton on the far left.

Former Dempsey High School students, with advisor Andy Hatton on the far left.