Sunbury in 2022: Triumphs, tragedy


By Gary Budzak - [email protected]



Sewer lines have been extended in Sunbury to support new subdivisions such as Rolling Hills along Golf Course Road.

Sewer lines have been extended in Sunbury to support new subdivisions such as Rolling Hills along Golf Course Road.


Gary Budzak | The Gazette

In 2022, the Sunbury Wastewater Treatment Plant doubled its capacity.


Gary Budzak | The Gazette

SUNBURY — Mayor Joe St. John spoke of Sunbury’s many investments and improvements during the annual State of the City address given during Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He also spoke of how a tragedy brought the community closer together in 2022.

“Sunbury invested in people, technology, equipment, real estate and infrastructure,” St. John said. “We added new services, and we’ve invested significantly in planning for the future.”

Among those are the new Board of Zoning Appeals and Board of Personnel Appeals, he said. New developments are required to incorporate multiuse trails to improve connectivity, and the city has invested in a fiber internet study for all Sunbury businesses and residents.

“Council authorized the single largest expansion of our wastewater treatment plant, doubling its capacity to 2,000,000 gallons per day,” St. John said. “Sunbury completed the single largest expansion of our sewer network along Golf Course Road, 1.3 miles to service the north and west sides of Sunbury.”

St. John also mentioned the opening of the new Big Walnut High School, benefits to employees, roadwork and additions to the Sunbury Police Department. Kathy Belcher, Sunbury’s longtime finance director who recently retired, was thanked for the city’s “strong financial base.”

The city held traditional events such as the July 4th Parade, Sunbury Sizzle and Sounds, and Christmas on the Square, all of which drew “numbers never seen before” following the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor St. John encouraged the public to get further involved in the community.

“But on Sept. 30, our community faced a tragedy during the Homecoming Parade,” St. John said. “Kenny ‘Catfish’ Zedeker was critically injured and rushed to the hospital. The community rallied around Kenny, raising over $90,000 for the family, setup prayer vigils, and held fundraisers. Miraculously, Kenny survived and was released from the hospital in December, and all indications tend to point towards a near full recovery. I am so proud of the way the community rallied behind Kenny. It’s a testament to what community, love, and prayer are all about.”

Near the end of the address, St. John quoted Councilman John Grumney on whether Sunbury was losing its “small-town feel” now that it is officially a city.

“I would propose a small-town feel has more to do with the character of the people who live here, who care for their neighbors, care for their schools, and care for their community,” St. John quoted Grumney as saying. “It is who we are and less of what we are.”

Sewer lines have been extended in Sunbury to support new subdivisions such as Rolling Hills along Golf Course Road.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2023/01/web1_DSCF9389.jpgSewer lines have been extended in Sunbury to support new subdivisions such as Rolling Hills along Golf Course Road. Gary Budzak | The Gazette

In 2022, the Sunbury Wastewater Treatment Plant doubled its capacity.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2023/01/web1_DSCF9395.jpgIn 2022, the Sunbury Wastewater Treatment Plant doubled its capacity. Gary Budzak | The Gazette

By Gary Budzak

[email protected]

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at the above email address.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at the above email address.