Pickerington to annex its own land

The city of Pickerington plans to annex nearly 68 acres of its own property along Diley Road from Violet Township.

The site includes two softball diamonds and the city’s water treatment facility.  Four underground wells near the back of the property provide water to Pickerington residents.

Because the property borders the city limits and belongs to the city, the annexation process will be relatively simple, according to interim City Manager Tim Hansley said.

Pickerington City Council must petition the county, the county files the petition, and then the annexation is complete.  Violet Township would have no recourse if it chose to object.

Why did Pickerington not annex the property when they bought it? Nobody at the March 18 city council meeting seemed to know. The purchase of the property occurred before many of the current staff and council members took office, therefore they could only speculate.

Hansley suspects the reason may be that annexations used to be more difficult so the city felt little need to pursue it.

Leaving the city property under township jurisdiction could lead to awkward situations. For instance, if a fight broke out during a softball game or a break-in occurred at the water treatment plant, the Fairfield County Sheriff would respond – not the Pickerington police.

Councilman Brian Sauer said he does not want Violet Township to misinterpret the annexation as hostile.

"First the city does own (the property)," Sauer said. "Secondly, the land represents no income. I’m surprised the city hasn’t annexed it already."

Councilman Michael Sabatino agreed with Sauer.

"In my eyes, support (of the annexation) does nothing to cast negatively on attempts to cooperate with the township," Sabatino said.

Sewage agreement with CW

Council moved to amend a sewage agreement between Pickerington and Canal Winchester.

Currently Canal Winchester provides sewer service to Pickerington residents living in southern areas (including the Sycamore Creek subdivision) and bills them the same as what Canal Winchester residents pay.

Under the amended agreement, Canal Winchester would continue providing sewer service, but Pickerington would bill its own residents based on its own rates, then Pickerington would pay Canal Winchester.

Pickerington would receive any fees associated with late payments. If a bill becomes delinquent, Pickerington would shut-off water service to the residence.  Canal Winchester cannot enact such measures since it does not provide the water, Pickerington Service Manager Edward Drobina said.

Under the amended agreement, Canal Winchester would provide Pickerington with a one time payment of  $21,000 for services such as meter reading.

The agreement currently affects around 500 residents, but soon Canal Winchester will provide sewer service to even more Pickerington residents.

Pickerington City Council approved three readings of a contract with G & G Enterprises, Inc. to install a sewer system for residents of Hill Road, south of the Sycamore Creek subdivision at a price of $62,539.

Pickerington promised to replace the existing septic systems with sewage lines as part of an annexation agreement.

Drobina said the property owners would provide an easement along Hill Road for the sewer pipes so that the road itself will not be damaged.

Other Pickerington news

•The water treatment facility needs to have its wastewater pump replaced. The pump sends the dirty water to the wastewater treatment plant on Hill Road. If the pump becomes overloaded, the plant must stop providing water.

Drobina said the pump stopped a couple times, but the city still managed to supply water to residents.

Council approved the first two readings of an ordinance to pay Sam’s Excavating Unlimited $86,772 to replace the pump with two new pumps. In addition, the six-inch pipes that carry the wastewater to the Hill Road facility would be replaced with eight inch pipes.

•Council approved a bid by Lepi Enterprises, Inc. to replace the city’s cold storage garage at a cost of  $199,941.The current garage, which houses service department vehicles and supplies, has a sagging roof and curving walls. The new structure will be built around the existing floor, Drobina said.

•Council voted to extend Hansley’s term as interim city manager until May 31.

•Pickerington has closed on its new pool, formerly the Swim Club, and passes will go on sale March 31. For information on prices or to purchase passes, call the Pickerington Parks and Recreation Department at 833-2211.

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