By Dustin Ensinger
Delaware County removed yet another roadblock to its plans to build a wastewater treatment plant that will discharge into Alum Creek.
The Delaware County commissioners voted 2-1 July 17 in favor of an agreement to allow the City of Westerville to increase its sewer capacity in the Polaris area. In exchange, the City of Westerville will not oppose the wastewater treatment plant.
The measure will modify a 2002 sewer service agreement and increase capacity in a section of Westerville served by Delaware County from 11.5 persons per acres to 16.5 persons per acres, according to Director of Environmental Services Tiffany Jenkins.
“What this agreement will do – and we’ve been working on it for quite some time – is it will revise and replace the existing agreement that we have,” said Jenkins.
The agreement will also allow the county to increase its user fee surcharges in the area by 50 percent.
The City of Westerville has approved the measure.
Delaware County Commissioner Ken O’Brien voted against the measure. In the past, he has called the deal a sewer “giveaway” and said that it has led to more development of apartment complexes in the Polaris area.
“It controls the development of the county,” he said Thursday. “If Columbus or Westerville has control of the sewer capacity, then they can control how much the county grows.”
Delaware County struck a similar deal with the City of Columbus in 2012. In that case, the city agreed to formally support the wastewater treatment plant.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.