By Dustin Ensinger
The Delaware County commissioners once again will take up an agreement with the City of Delaware to pay for the completion of Sawmill Parkway.
The agreement between the two entities will return Monday to the commissioners’ agenda, after the deal was stalled earlier this month over concerns about annexations by Powell and the City of Delaware along the roadway.
Delaware County Administrator Tim Hansley said the three entities have reached a tentative agreement that would require the county’s approval of any annexation along the roadway.
“It won’t be anymore complicated than that,” he said.
However, the county is still waiting on the informal sign-off on the side agreement from both Powell and Delaware city councils.
Delaware County Commissioner Dennis Stapleton, who is the key vote on the deal, said earlier this month he is concerned about the roadway turning into something similar to U.S. 23, with curb cuts for businesses lining the roadway and impeding traffic.
Delaware County Commissioner Ken O’Brien said both Powell and Delaware officials were very accommodating on the issue.
“I do believe that they were very sincere in their discussion about the curb cuts,” he said.
He believes Delaware’s willingness to accommodate on the annexation and curb cut issue could have been extended to the financial side of the deal, creating a better agreement for the county.
“I think if push came to shove, they would also do that in regards to paying the county back,” he said.
Under a current draft of the agreement, the county would front the entire $56 million needed for the project, including $18 million that it will need to borrow.
The city would be obligated to pay for 37.5 percent of the project from its municipal boundary to U.S. 42. The city would also be required to pay 100 percent of the costs of the roadway extension from U.S. 42 to its eventual terminus 1,600 feet north of the intersection.
The city’s share of the project is estimated to be $8.5 million. It would use revenue generated through a tax-increment financing (TIF) district at its expanded industrial park to repay the county.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.