(Posted May 3, 2017)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
West Jefferson village officials have taken another step toward the future by making plans to extend water and sewer services to a much talked about development area east of town.
On May 1, council members approved legislation to extend water and sewer services to land south of U.S. 40 and east of State Route 142 and approved a pre-annexation agreement.
The agreements were made with Sky Ranch Partners LLC and managing partner William R. “Russ” Miller. Sky Ranch Partners controls the Miller property and intends to develop the land for commercial, residential and institutional use under a planned district designation. It also intends to annex the property into the village when legally permissible.
Before annexation can take place, Sky Ranch Partners must be connected to village water and sewer.
The annexation is integral to development on the other side of U.S. Route 40, as well, where Kroger plans to build a small-format grocery store. That land also lies outside the village and needs village amenities to be annexed.
“It’s taken us four years to get this far,” said council President Steve Johnston as he introduced the two resolutions. “We’ve worked with three sets of attorneys.”
Council member Doug Eakins questioned the surcharges on the tap-in fees.
“Surcharges will help with infrastructure costs,” said Mayor Ray Martin.
As presented to council several meetings back, only a small portion of Miller’s land will be developed into housing units. Martin pointed out that the surcharge from the first 280 units will go toward the initial infrastructure work.
Also questioned was a New Community Authority that Martin explained is similar to a homeowners association. Funds raised with this would only be used to purchase things, not for operating expenses. Martin said New Albany in eastern Franklin County has such an authority in place, and the fees paid for the community’s new post office building.
Council voted 7-0 to approve both pieces of legislation.
Trash Hauling Contract
Council approved two one-year agreements for trash pick-up in the village. The current contract with Waste Management expires July 31, but includes provisions for two one-year extensions.
The first one-year agreement begins Aug. 1 at a cost to the village of $16.46 per unit each month. This is the same rate currently in effect. The second one-year extension will cost the village $16.90 per unit each month beginning Aug. 1, 2018.
Even with the increased cost the second year, the village will keep the existing price to residents at $16.96 a month.
Additionally, Waste Management will increase communication between drivers to resolve large-item collection issues; be in close contact with the village about daily issues that may arise; provide supplies so residents can wrap items that need to be wrapped; and revise literature and make it available for the village’s website.
In other business, council:
- authorized a $7,000 supplemental appropriation in the general fund, representing a donation from the Columbus Foundation and Battelle for the Lunch and Learn summer program; and
- authorized payment of $9,000 to roofing contractor Timothy Glover of Roofs That Last for roof repair and replacement at the sewer plant.