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Reports to the Community

from Economic Development and Planning

The Economic Development and Planning Department's Report to the Community e-newsletter series highlights the activities and outcomes of recent projects, programs, and initiatives undertaken by the department. Workforce training, demolition of vacant homes, and expenditure of federal stimulus funds in Franklin County are just a few of the topics covered in these reports that highlight the county's commitment to affordable housing, business investment, and safe neighborhoods.

County's Auto Title West Joins Neighboring State Deputy Registrar at Hollywood Plaza

from Clerk of Courts

Continuing the tradition that began 16 years ago, the Franklin County's Auto Title West will reopen on October 22 in newly remodeled offices at 4153 West Broad Street. Auto Title West rejoins its neighbor the State of Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Deputy Registrar, which also occupies a service facility in the Hollywood Plaza shopping center. Clerk of Courts Maryellen O'Shaughnessy announced that the Title West's site will resume all full-service auto title transactions for walk-in customers, businesses and dealers. Auto Title West's office offers 65% more floor space compared to its former West Broad Street location in the Shipley Services Center. In addition, a customized Business Services Center located in the expanded facility is prepared to manage all Financial Institutions' and Dealerships' batched title transactions. Auto Title West will expand its weekday hours of operation, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to now include Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon.

The ongoing partnership between Franklin County and the State of Ohio began in 1998, when both organizations were co-located in the State's Public Safety Charles D. Shipley Services Center at 1970 West Broad Street. The two government agencies moved out of the Hilltop site earlier this summer.

"It was critical for us to maintain an auto title office on the west side," said Clerk O'Shaughnessy. "And because customers were accustomed to both county and state services offered in one place, it was essential to continue the convenience of one-stop-shopping."

Hollywood Plaza is located within one mile of the 270 Freeway, and shares its boundaries with a resurging and emerging business community along Georgesville Road and the West Broad Street corridor. The two government offices anticipate a steady increase in business activity at their new site for auto title transactions, licensing and driver license renewals in their respective locations.

"We are proud of this lasting partnership and the positive impact it continues to have on the economic development on the west side of Columbus." said BMV Registrar Mike Rankin.

Plans are currently underway for Franklin County's Auto Title North move from its current Morse Road location in the Patio Shops to a newly remodeled site at 980 Morse Road. The relocation is expected to occur by October 27. Auto Title North will move into a newly redeveloped space and will be adjacent a State's BMV Deputy Registrar. The State's office moved into the same shopping area earlier this summer.

Final Week of Absentee Voting Underway

from Board of Elections

Voters have one more week to cast absentee ballots for the Nov. 4 general election.

The trend in Franklin County continues to show in-person voting running ahead and voting by mail running behind comparable numbers from 2010 when candidates for governor and other statewide offices were last on the ballot.

Figures released by the board of elections this morning show 106,474 requesting ballots by mail since early voting began Oct. 7 compared to 148, 559 asking for ballots by mail four years ago. Another 4,477 have voted early in-person at the board's office on 1700 Morse Road compared to 1,583 for 2010.

Early voting continues through next Monday at the following times:

  • Weekdays - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through Fri. Oct. 31
  • Sat. Nov. 1 - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Sun. Nov. 2 - 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Mon. Nov. 3 - 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Sample ballots are posted online to show voters the candidates and issues appearing in their precincts. One issue-a levy for Franklin County Children's Services-will appear on ballots countywide. Local ballots will show combinations of 45 other issues including charter amendments for Columbus, suburban school levies, tax issues and liquor options.

November is National Adoption Month

from Children Services

During this time, we celebrate the blessings of adoption and spread the word about children who are looking for permanent families. To learn about Franklin County Children Services' Adoption Program and search a list of children who are currently available for adoption click here.

Pet Trails in the Metro Parks

from Metro Parks

There are dedicated pet trails in 14 Metro Parks so bring your best friend and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery.

Visit the Metro Parks website to learn more about the parks.

Common Ground Parenting Classes

from Child Support Enforcement

The Buckeye Ranch Visitation/Access Program is organizing free classes for never married parents. Classes meet once per week for six weeks. See the flyer for the class topics. You are welcome to attend even if your co-parent doesn't participate. More information is available on the Child Support Enforcement Agency website.

Board of Elections Ready for Absentee Voting at New Location

from Board of Elections

The Franklin County Board of Elections is ready for absentee voting and reminding voters that in-person early voting will take place at the board's new home on 1700 Morse Road.

The board held an open house this morning so the media, public officials and others from the board's new neighborhood could get a good look at the new facility. The board moved here from downtown Columbus in July because it needed more room for its day to day work and for early voting.

It's the same building where Franklin County held early voting for the 2012 general election, but it looks a lot different today. It was little more than the shell of a former department store two years ago when just over 70,000 voted absentee there. It has since been converted to office space for approximately 50 full-time employees and a few hundred additional temporary employees hired during election season. It also has hundreds of free parking spaces unlike the old location downtown where parking was in short supply.

"This election will be the first chance for most voters to see our new home up close. It's their home too," board of elections Director Bill Anthony said. "It's designed to make voting easier and streamline other aspects of the work we do. We hope that translates into people becoming more actively involved in the elections process."

"We're near the population center of the county and that places us closer to more voters. This facility will make poll worker training more efficient as well," added Deputy Director Dana Walch. "We have enough space to conduct training here instead of scattering classes for thousands of people throughout the county."

The board's move to Morse Road will be completed shortly after the election when the county's 4,700 voting machines will be shipped here from a warehouse across town for storage between elections.

Environmental Educator Workshops

from Soil and Water Conservation District

Join naturalists, environmental educators and teachers as we explore, explain and experience the value, variety and vulnerability of our natural resources through a series of interactive workshops.

Franklin Soil and Water, together with Metro Parks and the Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District, will be coordinating workshops for educators with resources and activity ideas. Each session is a complete workshop including: introduction to the program, instructor-led activities, participant-driven learning and evaluation. All curricular materials are adaptable for many age groups.