Monday night Columbus City Council and Franklin County Commissioners could be putting a barrier in the middle of the west side casino project.There’s an argument over the casino annexing into Columbus. The west side site is currently in Franklin Township. If the location is annexed into the city, then the city provides the services and also gets more tax revenue.
This new agreement, passed by council Monday, clarifies that in order for Penn National to receive city services then it has to be annexed into the city limits. But the casino group has asked the Ohio EPA for permission to drill wells to service the casino, thus avoiding the annexation issue, unless city hall compensates the casino developers for the move from downtown to the west side.
The former Delphi plant off of West Broad Street was removed from a 2003 agreement between the city and county that would provide sewer services. City officials plan to write new legislation that would require any commercial developer who annexes into Columbus to use its sewer and water services.
That, more or less, was Mayor Michael B. Coleman’s message as he made a rare appearance before the Columbus City Council last night and asked members to remove the casino site from a 2003 city sewer contract with Franklin County.
“This new agreement clarifies that, in order for Penn National to receive city services, they need to annex to the city of Columbus,” Coleman told council members. The council approved the contract 6-0, with Councilman Andrew J. Ginther abstaining. County commissioners are to take the matter up at their meeting this morning.
For the county, the new contract would allow extending city water lines to 27 county housing subdivisions that have water problems. Two – the Money back subdivision in Franklin Township and the Leonard Park subdivision in Mifflin Township – would be approved immediately. The county would pay for the lines.