Debate on Groveport sewer project flows on

Marc Studley of Access Storage, located on west Groveport Road, appealed to Groveport Village Council at its July 23 meeting to proceed with the proposed west Groveport Road sanitary sewer project.

The proposed  2,100 foot, $863,000 ($1.6 million if potential interest on notes/bonds is included in the total cost) sanitary sewer line would include a mix of residential, farm, churches, and commercial properties along Groveport Road west from Greenpointe Drive to the First Baptist Church of Groveport. The sewer line would serve an area encompassing 240 acres.

Studley believes that one of the reasons given by some officials and residents for not tackling the project – that it would be a financial hardship on some property owners in the area – was not legitimate because: some of the properties are in Madison Township; and many of the properties are not owner occupied so, according to a note Studley submitted to council, these properties "…therefore have no say in this matter."

Studley has stated the benefits the sanitary sewer line would bring to the area include: commercial and light industrial growth as outlined in the village’s comprehensive plan; additional income tax revenue; development that would not add students to "an already overburdened school district;" and that new development would clean up "a blighted area" that more than 10,000 cars per day pass through.

Village Administrator Jon Crusey told council that, out of the 16 affected properties, two are owner occupied residential properties with one located in the village limits and the other in Madison Township.

However, Crusey noted the financial hardship of the property owners (through potential assessments to pay for the project) is only one factor council is considering in its review of  the potential project. He cited the cost of the project, assessment options, and the results of pending Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing in the area as other factors council is reviewing.

Councilman Ed Rarey also noted that, "It’s a misnomer we’re a wealthy little village," citing the village’s debt on the recreation center, aquatic center, and golf course that consume some of the town’s income tax revenue gains.

Rarey believes council should not commit to the sewer project because it must have money available to pay for other long awaited needs elsewhere in the village such as sidewalks, water and sewer upgrades, and road work. He added that the village may eventually also be responsible for reconstructing Bixby Road after the Ohio Department of Transporation builds an interchange at U.S. 33 and Bixby Road in the next few years.

Council will await the results of the EPA and Franklin County’s health and environmental testing of the area, which is expected to be completed in September, before taking any further action regarding the  potential sewer project.

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