Sewer project talks still percolating

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Talks regarding the proposed west Groveport Road sewer project are still flowing along.

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.

Council rejected the project in December 2006, but is now reconsidering it.

At Groveport Village Council’s Feb. 19 committee of the whole meeting, Marc Studley of Access Storage, located on west Groveport Road, reiterated his plea for the village to proceed with the sewer project.

"I’m looking to get this problem solved," said Studley. "(The lack of the sewer) is the one thing standing in the way of development in the area."

Studley said the sewer would spur commercial development along west Groveport Road which would enhance the village’s tax base, help the schools by creating revenue without adding students, and be paid for by assessments to property owners who would benefit from the proposed sewer line.

Assessment options

Two assessment options are under consideration for the project. One is a direct assessment where property owners pay their share towards the construction of the sewer line over a 20 year period. The other is the creation of an assessment district where property owners pay their share for the sewer line in full as soon as they tap into it.

Law Director Kevin Shannon indicated that, if the direct assessment option is used,  when a petition from the majority of affected property owners favoring the project is presented, council needs only a majority vote to approve a resolution of necessity for the project. If a petition from a majority of the affected property owners opposing the project is received, then a super majority, or five votes, of council is needed for approval.

Estimated assessments for the 16 affected properties listed by the village range from $3,770 to $323,225 based on acreage; and from $12,013 to $137,059 based on road frontage.

EPA

Erin Sherer of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told council that tests showed a drainage ditch across from St. Mary’s Church on Groveport Road, which is not connected to the village sewer system, had some E.coli bacteria present.

"St. Mary’s Church needs to abandon its package treatment plant and connect into the Groveport sanitary sewer system…" wrote Larry Korecko of the EPA in a Feb. 13 letter to the church.

Sherer said if St. Mary’s were to connect to a Groveport sewer system, then the church’s neighbors to the west, Bright Innovations owned by Diana Ward, would also have to tie into the system.

St. Mary’s could tie into the proposed sewer system along Groveport Road or explore tapping into a deep, existing sewer line to the north and east of their property.

Sherer said St. Mary’s is not under a direct order to connect right now as the EPA is allowing the church and other parties to assess their situation.

Sherer also stated that the First Baptist Church of Groveport on Groveport Road, which has a septic holding tank that must be pumped weekly, is exceeding its permit.

Next steps

Council decided that, before it took further action, St. Mary’s Church, Diana Ward, and village administrative officials should have time to discuss the sewer situation as it applies to those properties.

Additionally council members Jean Ann Hilbert and Donna Drury both stated that council wants to hear from all the property owners along the west Groveport Road corridor who would be affected by the proposed sewer line to see if they are in favor of the project or not.

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