Among the 44 items eliminated from the two-year state budget by way of Gov. John Kasich’s veto pen was a provision to stop the sale of a valuable piece of Delaware County real estate.
Lawmakers had inserted a provision into the biennial budget designed to repeal legislation passed last year that allowed for the sale of the Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility in Delaware County to the city of Columbus.
Kasich, in a “veto message,” said the sale of the property to the city of Columbus had already closed and that striking the measure from the spending outline is “in the public interest.”
“They had their minds made up on what they wanted to do with that property long before this stuff became public,” said State Sen. Kris Jordan, R-Powell, who sponsored the provision.
Delaware County commissioners, Concord Township trustees and Buckeye Valley Local School District officials had lobbied for at least a portion of the 99-acre property at the site of the former Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility to be sold to private developers whose projects could add to the three entities’ revenue streams through property or sales taxes.
“We would have loved to have that property able to be put up for private sale,” said Buckeye Valley Superintendent Andy Miller.
The site will be used for a water treatment station for the city of Columbus, and none of the entities in Delaware County will benefit financially. The water plan will reportedly be fed by a new reservoir in Delaware County that was built to hold 9 billion gallons of water.
Design and construction will likely take a decade and the plant should be open by 2030. Officials say the site is ideal because of its proximity to the Scioto River.
The property is valued at $9.2 million, according to the Delaware County Auditor’s Office. The city of Columbus currently owns more than 8,100 acres of property in Delaware County, valued at more than $118 million.
Columbus City Council approved the $5.65 million purchase of the former Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility last month.
The Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility closed in May 2014.