Groveport sewer project on hold pending appeal

The proposed west Groveport Road sewer project remains on hold.

In a written report to Groveport Village Council Oct. 14, interim village administrator Ken Salak stated he and EMH&T engineer Steve Farst met with representatives of St. Mary Catholic Church and Bright Innovations about the sewer issue on Oct. 1.

The church has filed an appeal with the Ohio EPA regarding its directive for the church to hook into the Groveport sewer system. Bright Innovations is awaiting the outcome of the St. Mary appeal.

Salak wrote, "St. Mary wants to repair their system and go directly to our existing manhole. Mr. Farst and I explained that if they were to extend the sewer privately, the village of Groveport would pay for over sizing."

Salak indicated Diana Ward of Bright Innovations asked if the village would waive tap fees. He explained the village cannot waive Columbus sewer tap fees.

A proposed, 2,100 foot, approximately $840,000 sanitary sewer line would include properties along Groveport Road extending west from Greenpointe Drive to the First Baptist Church of Groveport property and would serve an area encompassing 240 acres.

Council initially rejected the plan by a split vote in December 2006 as some council members felt the direct assessments to fund the project would be a burden on the affected property owners. However, supporters of the project and the Ohio  EPA, have brought the project back to the attention of Groveport officials.

In letters dated Aug. 13 to Bright Innovations and St. Mary Catholic Church, two properties in the proposed project area, the Ohio EPA ordered these entities to extend the village’s sanitary sewer line from Greenpointe Drive and connect it to their properties due to the "inadequacy of the treatment system" serving the properties. The letter also stated that, "should the village of Groveport decide to construct the sewer line extension itself…these orders simply require you to connect into the line when it becomes available."

Groveport Village Law Director Kevin Shannon told council at its Aug. 18 committee of the whole meeting that the Ohio EPA is concerned about the pumping stations, holding tanks, and the "hodge podge" of sanitary sewer treatment systems in the west Groveport Road area.

Potential costs

Salak previously provided estimates for direct assessments to affected property owners that would fund the sewer project. Two sets of estimates based on acreage and frontage for the 16 properties were tabulated. The estimates are based on a bond rate of 4.75 percent, which could change.

The 20 year, estimated total assessments for the 16 properties for the proposed project range from $4,516 to $369,952 based on acreage; and from $13,395 to $155,892 based on frontage. Estimated annual payments range from $350 to $28,689 based on acreage; and from  $1,039 to $12,089 based on frontage.

Shannon said direct assessments are used to pay for a project when a municipality determines there is a need to extend a utility and the affected property owners have not voluntarily petitioned the government to do so. Approval of the resolution of necessity would require five of six council votes for approval if the proposed project is not requested by petition by a majority of the affected property owners.

Next steps

Village officials plan to await the results of the St. Mary appeal to the Ohio EPA before proceeding with further discussions.

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