First reading heard for land annexation

By Dillon Davis - [email protected]

Powell City Council listened to the first reading of the proposed annexation of approximately 44 acres of land from Liberty Township into Powell at Tuesday’s meeting. The annexation, which was approved by the Delaware County Commissioners at their Aug. 9 meeting, is for land on the northeast corner of Sawmill Parkway and Home Road, directly east of Olentangy Liberty High School.

City Manager Steve Lutz said there was a 60-day waiting period, per state law, between the county’s approval and the city’s first reading of the proposed annexation.

In July, council approved a pre-annexation agreement with The Ohio State University for the land, which the university purchased from Golf Village LLC. OSU’s proposal is to construct a medical campus on 30 acres, beginning with a 200,000-square-foot ambulatory care center.

“This proposed project is a win-win for the community on many levels,” Lutz said at the July meeting. “It provides for a significant medical center which will be used by many of our residents. The new income tax revenues that will be generated are much needed as a result of the state house budget cuts, which have impacted Powell and all Ohio municipalities in recent years.”

Lutz added phase one is projected to employ at least 500 physicians and staff, with an estimated payroll that will exceed $50 million annually, once the facility is fully complete. He said those numbers will only increase with additions of later phases.

Councilman Daniel Swartwout called the idea of this project and its benefits “breathtaking,” going on to say, “This is truly a tremendous opportunity for the city of Powell to bring a world-class facility into our backyard. I don’t think you can overstate the fact that Ohio State is a world-class facility, and we will all, as a community, have access to that, just a few moments away.”

The Powell Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed a sketch plan in July for the medical campus, the first step in a lengthy development process.

As part of the annexation, the city is seeking to enter into a development and incentive agreement for the sewage system of the land. Lutz said negotiations are being finalized between Delaware County, which provides sanitary sewer services to Powell, OSU and the city, to decide how the construction of the sewer system will be paid. According to Lutz, construction will cost approximately $900,000.

The date of the second reading of the annexation is still unknown as Lutz said there are “still elements of this annexation which have to be finalized.”

City council meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays of the month. Agendas for upcoming meetings can be found under the government tab on the city’s website.

By Dillon Davis

[email protected]

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.