Reynoldsburg hopes to see grant to fund Summit Road construction

Reynoldsburg should receive feedback later this month regarding $4.5 million the city hopes to receive from the state, said attorney Glenn Dugger of Smith and Hale.

The city applied for an Ohio Public Works Grant at the beginning of September.

When combined with a local contribution of $1.5 million, the money would improve Summit Road from Main Street north to Refugee Road. The jog would be straightened, a traffic lane would be added, and curbs and streetlights would be constructed, Dugger said.

In addition, a new storm sewer, a bike path and a sidewalk will be added, engineering director James Miller said at a public information session in August.

The area is part of a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district that includes 70-acres upon which the school district plans to build an elementary school and a high school by 2010.

In a TIF district, local government pays for infrastructure improvements such as roads and water lines to encourage companies to develop or renovate properties.

The tax rate assessed to the property upon creation of a TIF is frozen to become a baseline. As the property values increase, all taxes collected above the baseline (with the exception of school taxes) will repay the local government for the infrastructure improvements.

The Summit Road TIF originally formed in 2006 as a residential TIF with the intention of using the money generated from new homes to correct the jog in the road.  However, no new houses were built.

"Obviously we are dealing with a pretty severe shut down of single-family properties," Dugger said.

In March, voters approved a 4.9-mill bond issue that generated $56 million to build the two new schools and renovate existing district buildings. The state will match $55 million of the funds.

At a special school district meeting held before the election, business manager Ron Strussion said the district paid $41,000 per acre for the Summit Road land.

The schools, city and current property owner will each pay $35,000 to extend water and sewer pipes through the TIF, Dugger said.

Although final plans cannot be made until funding is approved, road construction is tentatively scheduled for 2010, Miller said.

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