By Andrea Cordle
Ohio Health is moving forward with its project to expand medical services in Grove City. Now city leaders are helping the project along.
At the March 6 meeting, Grove City Council approved an ordinance to set aside $2 million to expand the city’s public water and sewer system services on Stringtown Road.
Last summer, Ohio Health announced plans to build a freestanding emergency department and a surgical inpatient hospital on Stringtown Road, near State Route 104.
According to Kyle Rauch, development director for the city, Ohio Health will build an 81,000 square foot surgical hospital and emergency department, along with a 42,000 square foot medical office building on 22 acres of land.
Rauch said the construction project not only includes the water and sewer lines, but also roadway improvements near the health care facility.
The total cost of the public improvement project is $5.15 million – $2.60 million for roadway improvements and $2.55 million for utility improvements.
Rauch said Ohio Health would contribute $2.5 million to assist the city is paying for Stringtown Road public improvements if the company is reimbursed from tax increment financing revenue generated by the project.
Other funding sources for the project include the city and the Franklin County Infrastructure Bank Program.
City leaders believe the water and sanitary sewer service is necessary for economic development on Stringtown Road, east of Buckeye Parkway.
“We are paving the way for future development,” said Rauch.
According to the development director, the Ohio Health project would create 300 new jobs, with an average pay of $40,000 a year.
“This is going to increase tax revenue in the city and create a more complete community,” said Rauch.
Councilman Ted Berry voiced concern about the added traffic the hospital would bring, not only along Stringtown Road, but along State Route 104.
“Has there been any discussion about expanding 104,” Berry asked.
Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage said the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission has the Interstate-71/Frank Road/State Route 104 corridor included in its 20-year plan.
“It is on the drawing board,” said Stage.
The Ohio Health surgery center and medical offices are scheduled to open later this year. The hospital and emergency department will open late in 2018.