Last updated: September 06. 2013 4:03PM - 87 Views

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Staff Writer

Moving the project closer to construction, Delaware County commissioners approved the purchase of just more than $91,000 worth of property to make way for the planned Sawmill Parkway extension.

Commissioners Dennis Stapleton and Tommy Thompson approved agreements to buy seven different pieces of property. As has been the case in the past, the sales were negotiated based on the amount of damage construction would have on the property, Delaware County Engineer Chris Bauserman said.

The county has purchased about three-fifths of the approximately 50 properties it needs to buy before beginning construction on the $55 million project to extend Sawmill Parkway north from Home Road, where it currently ends, to South Section Line Road.

County engineers began purchasing land for the latest phase last year.

“We’re making very good progress and I think the tone and result of these negotiations have been favorable for (both the landowners and the county),” Bauserman said.

Thompson said he supports the project, despite the controversy from some residents, and his own initial concerns about the location of Olentangy schools relative to what is sure to be increased traffic on the road.

“I agree with you that it’s time to move forward with it,” Thompson said.

The extension of Sawmill to Section Line Road would be the last phase of the project. Once it is complete, Delaware city economic development officials have said it could help create more than 4,300 jobs and generate more than $6 million in annual taxes within the next 30 years.

The project is funded through a portion of the county’s 0.75-percent sales tax for roads and bridges.

In other business, commissioners declared August 2011 as “Child Support Awareness Month.”

The Delaware County Child Support Agency has collected more than $13 million in child support year-to-date from almost 5,000 cases, and established genetic testing on 90 different cases, according to county officials.

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