OCU Annexed into Circleville

OCU Annexed into Circleville

Ohio Christian University is one step closer to being annexed into the city.

City council members approved the annexation agreement with Washington Township and OCU on Wednesday, which paves the way for the Pickaway County Commissioners to make their decision on whether or not to allow the annexation and move it toward completion.

“This is a culmination of four to five years of work,” said David Crawford, council president. “It took this long to make it happen.”

“We are so excited about our partnership with Circleville and the many amenities they provide,” said Dr. Mark Smith, president of OCU. “Our goal is to serve this community in every facet. Last year OCU hosted 677 events on campus, including Circleville High School and Pickaway-Ross Career and Technology Center graduations. OCU is currently serving 200 students who live in Circleville and more than 900 attend classes on campus.”

Per the annexation agreement, OCU will be annexed into the city to ease the process of providing upgrades to its sewer systems that will connect to the City. OCU will still use Earnhardt-Hill for its water service.

Income tax for the annexation will belong to the city, while property tax will belong to Washington Township.

Though the university would sit inside city limits, however, the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office would continue to provide law enforcement services for that area, as well as all annexations of Washington Township into the city, Crawford said.

The city is providing sewer services because OCU has outgrown its current capabilities and wanted to hook in to Circleville’s system to allow their growth to continue.

The plan is to fix the problem in the short term with construction of a pump station that would pump sewage from OCU into the city’s system. The engineer estimated the project will cost about $900,000.

To fund the short-term fix, Circleville will seek out grant funding to pay for part the cost of installation, and then OCU will have to repay the remaining amount back to the city over the next 20 years.

The long-term plan is to install a gravity sewer, but that would take several years to complete at a cost of several million dollars.

By Steven Collins, Staff Reporter for the Circleville Herald
Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 4:45 pm