SUNBURY — Growth has not slowed in eastern Delaware County despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with area residents returning to support favorite causes.

For example, in-person fish dinner sales have returned to churches for the Lenten season, and St. John Neumann had such a long line after just opening last Friday that clergy appeared shocked.

Local government is doing its part to keep up with the growth.

The City of Sunbury had an impact fee study presentation at its Finance Committee meeting on Jan. 19 that was later shown to council. The proposed fees would be “only paid by new development — not existing residents or businesses,” said a slide in the presentation.

The fees would go towards growth-related infrastructure for municipal facilities, police, parks and recreation, and roads.

“We do live in the fastest-growing county in Ohio, we also live in the most underdeveloped portion of that county, and it is no surprise, but growth is on our front door,” said Mayor Joe St. John, in the meeting minutes. “This economic model addresses some of these things based on supply and demand. The demand is high, and I think to be the prosperous place that we know it to be, we’d be doing our existing residents and future residents a huge favor by acting based on this analysis.”

During the council meeting on Jan. 19, Administrator Steve Pyles reported on COVID-19 state and local fiscal recovery funds. “We have received approximately $334,000 in a first round and will receive an equal amount in a second draw mid-year,” the report said.

Earlier this year, council approved the employment of Daryl Hennessy as assistant city administrator.

The Engineering Status Report said of the projects under construction, “Project continues to make progress” for Car Wash USA, Newman Roofing, Rolling Hills subdivision phase one and Vantage Logistics.

Following an executive session, the city also purchased property at 220 N. Columbus St. and 32 Sedwick Ave.

In another sign of normality, Cindy Erndt, of the Big Walnut Civic Association, announced a full slate of activities for 2022 during the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting on Feb. 2:

• Easter egg hunt, General Rosecrans Elementary (April 9)

• Chiefs Champions 5K run, Sunbury Christian Church to Galena (May 7)

• Farmers markets (Saturdays, spring to fall)

• Movies on the Square (June 3, July 1, Aug. 5)

• Independence Day events (July 4, rain date July 8)

• Sunbury Sizzle and Sounds (Aug. 20)

Another event to be held at General Rosecrans is Safety Town on July 25-29. To apply, visit the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office website at

In-person Fishy Fridays have returned, such as this one at St. John Neumann Church in Sunbury last week. It’s just after 4 p.m. and there’s already a line. Fishy Fridays have returned, such as this one at St. John Neumann Church in Sunbury last week. It’s just after 4 p.m. and there’s already a line. Gary Budzak | The Gazette

By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.