Fallen officers remembered 5 years later


WESTERVILLE — On this day five years ago, Westerville Police officers Eric J. Joering and Anthony P. Morelli lost their lives in the line of duty. Their sacrifice will be remembered by the city.

The city’s website said that at noon, the Westerville Police Honor Guard will place a wreath near their commemorative plaques in the City Hall Courtyard, 21 S. State St.

“The public is invited to attend,” the website said. “In keeping with the intended spirit of the day, no public speakers or formal programming is planned.”

There will also be a limited number of blue carnations in the courtyard for the public to place, as well as in the First Responders Park, 374 W. Main St.

“As always, residents are invited to show their support by displaying blue lights and ribbons,” the city said.

While today is contemplative, there is much going on in the city, which impacts Delaware County as well as Franklin County.

In January, Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bank said it will expand into a new technology hub in Westerville. The $2.2 million investment will add 150 positions, such as data analysts, developers, engineers, finance specialists and network operators. The commercial bank employs nearly 3,400 full-time employees.

“This is an exciting economic development win for Westerville and Delaware County,” Rachel Ray, economic development director for the city, told The Gazette. “The company has signed a lease for the full third floor at 570 Polaris Parkway in the Westar area.”

In a joint press release issued by the city, Western Alliance Bancorporation is described as “one of the country’s top-performing banking companies. … Major accolades include being ranked #1 top-performing large bank with assets greater than $50 billion in 2021 by both American Banker and Bank Director.”

This past week, it was announced a Community Improvement Corporation will purchase two tracts of land east of Africa Road for economic development purposes. Westerville City Council heard the first reading of the proposed acquisition on Tuesday, with a potential close in April.

The tracts, consisting of 88 acres, would be purchased for $8.4 million. The location is between County Line Road West and Polaris Parkway and across from Central Ohio Primary Care and the Westar Area. The site includes the historic Sharp House, which the city said would “be preserved in its current location on the larger, northern parcel, with the intent to explore an adaptive reuse.”

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