The Delaware County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved four TIFs (Tax Increment Financing) for public infrastructure improvements: Orange Road at the rail crossing; the Ohio State University Ambulatory Care facility on Home Road in Liberty Township; the construction of an overpass from Home Road and U.S. 23 over the Norfolk Southern and CSX railroad tracks; and a 250-acre multi-use facility for Evans Farm.
According to section 5709 of the Ohio Revised Code, TIFs allow a county board of commissioners, only through resolution, the authority to declare the need for improvements to a property for public use, exempt it from taxation, and allow the owner to make service payments in lieu of taxes.
Delaware County Economic Development Director Bob Lamb approached commissioners to approve a TIF requested by Orange Township for improvements on Orange Road.
“The request before you is to approve a 10-year, 75 percent TIF in Orange Township along Orange Road,” he told the board. “The revenue from the TIF is being used for road improvements within the (U.S.) 23 corridor area.”
According to the Board of Commissioners journal, the TIF will fund the construction of an underpass at the CSX and Norfolk Southern railroad crossing and a combined bridge over the tracks on Orange Road.
“This has been moved forward by request from Orange Township,” Lamb said.
Lamb also requested approval for a TIF within Liberty Township on Home Road.
“The request is for a 10-year, 75 percent TIF for a project occurring within Liberty Township at the northeast corner of Home Road and Sawmill (Parkway),” he said. “This TIF area will also contain the parcel where the Ohio State medical development is looking to locate.”
Lamb said the construction of the new ambulatory center is scheduled for 2020. He said the funds are dedicated to the development of roads and sewer in the area that will accommodate both the Ohio State development and other developments looking at locating in the same area.
“It’s good news for Powell and Liberty Township,” Commissioner Gary Merrell said.
Lamb said he was very excited about the 500,000 square feet of the new medical office space project. He said it will be accomplished in two phases with approximately 250,000 square feet being built in each phase, and it will bring up to 900 new jobs to Delaware County.
“One of the great things about this project is that approximately 4,000 individuals, who are Delaware County residents, work for Ohio State medical. This is a project that is bringing people here to work here within the community,” he said.
Commissioner Jeff Benton said the facility and the employer will be very “attractive for the area.”
Lamb’s next request to the Board of Commissioners was a 20-year, 75 percent TIF for public infrastructure improvements to Home Road, Lewis Center Road, Graphics Way, Green Meadows Drive, and other county and township transportation and sewer public improvements benefiting the TIF district.
“This TIF agreement was approved by the Olentangy School District last week,” Lamb said. “It will facilitate a multi-use development located on approximately 250 acres. The funds are to be used to facilitate road improvements in the (U.S.) 23 corridor, but most importantly, the Home Road-Lewis Center connection, an overpass over the rail line at that location, helping to establish an east-west connector. It’s a key priority to help development in this area as well as the Evens Farm project”
‘This is an important part of our east-west strategy, which we desperately need to improve,” Benton said.
Lambs’ last request for approval was for a 20-year, 75 percent TIF that affects both the Delaware Area Career Center and Olentangy Local School District.
According to the Board of Commissioners’ journal, the TIF will facilitate the funding of improvements to South Old State Road south of Lewis Center Road; the Home Road roundabout east to Old State Road; the addition of a traffic signal at Mariner’s Cove; the widening of Shanahan Road to three lanes from U.S. 23 to Piatt Road; improvements to the Peachblow Pump Station; improvements to the lower Alum Creek pump station; construction of the Shanahan Road and Cheshire Road vehicular bridge over the railroad tracks for the Evans Farm project.
Lamb said the Olentangy Local School District approved the TIF the week before.
“We’ve been working on several different items for this project for as long as three or four years,” he said. “The funds will facilitate the offsite improvements for this project and others within the corridor.”
Benton added, “It’s great that we’ve been able to work this out,” he said. “This area is going to really change over the next 10 years for the better.”
Merrell said none of the projects would have happened without the involvement of the Olentangy Local School District.
“(They) recognize that we’re all partners, and this is to make our county better and in the long run, to help everybody,” he said.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.