A resident is urging Jerome Township officials to make their voice heard as Plain City begins negotiations with Columbus for water and wastewater services.
“Jerome Township is where the most valuable land is located and we need a representative at the table,” John Wirchanski said at Monday night’s board of trustees meeting. “Remember what just happened with annexation and utilities when Dublin tried to bully all of us? Let’s not let that happen again with Columbus.”
He added, “This township is going to be the money-maker for the next 20 years and will help Marysville and Union County, I only wish the leaders at the county seat would understand that.”
Plain City initially wanted to contract with the City of Marysville for water and sewer services. After discussions with Marysville, the decision was made to contract with Columbus for those services. Plain City is seeking to expand its utility services east of the village to the Franklin/Madison county lines, north to Currier Road and south to Price-Hilliards Road. Any property looking to tap into the water or sewer service would be required to annex into Plain City. Plain City officials said that because the annexation would need to be contiguous, it could be a while before that expansion occurs, though they said they know the quickest expansion will likely occur to the east. Village officials also acknowledged Jerome Township will likely not appreciate the plan.
Wirchanski said that in addition to the township being part of discussions, he would like residents to be informed also.
“As a landowner in Plain City, I think it is important that Plain City officials start the public input process as Columbus utility discussions proceed,” Wirchanski said. “Many of us in Plain City want to know the details of cost, annexation, boundaries and timing.”
Village officials have said they would like to host a series of public meetings, though none have been scheduled.
Wirchanski said Marysville officials were too busy trying to work a deal with Plain City to address needs at the Halls Corner and Jacquemin Farm properties between U.S 33 and Hyland Croy Road, north of Route 161. He said since Marysville has seemingly lost the opportunity to service Plain City, “What we are doing at Hall’s Corner and what the Schottensteins are planning at Jacquemin Farms now seem much more important.”
Wirchanski said he was struggling to understand Marysville’s strategy of building a regional facility then ceding the rights to service the area. He said the decision to not move forward with Plain City will cost Marysville decades of tap and usage fees.
“Once the decision is made, the potential revenue is gone forever,” Wirchanski said. “Where does Marysville intend to gain customers if it keeps turning away users?”
He said the decision could have other impacts for Marysville and its residents
“Marysville’s cost of borrowing is going to increase because the potential profit centers are going to neighboring cities,” Wirchanski said.
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