Delaware's engineering department went before City Council this week to ask for additional funds to accommodate an unexpected boom in residential and business development.
At its meeting Monday, July 22, council approved a transfer of $175,000 from the general fund to the engineering budget, which originally was allotted only $50,000 for the year.
"It's difficult to predict how much you'll need, and this year, things are really kicking into high gear," Director of Engineering Services Bill Ferrigno said.
The demand for engineering services will come in large part from residential development. The Traditions at Carson Farms and Communities at Glenross are slated to begin construction soon, and Heatherton, Preserve at Quail Pass and Stavroff Residential are are planned to begin taking shape this fall.
Delaware Place, Springer Woods and Braumiller Estates also have development slated for this year.
Future business developments include CVS, Brown Jug Storage and a Chesrown auto dealership.
"This is a good sign for our development and our economy," City Manager Tom Homan told council before it unanimously approved the extra funds.
The $175,000 will be used to hire five building inspectors who will work on contract from August to October, when construction will begin on the bulk of the upcoming development projects, Ferrigno said. A full-time construction manager also will join the department that's currently staffed with eight workers.
Ferrigno pointed out the appropriations would pay off in the long run, because the engineering department anticipates collecting an estimated $203,189 in service fees.
The Preserve at Quail Pass apartment complex is the latest to announce development for the fall. At the July 22 meeting, council approved the final development plan for the complex that, once finished, will feature 340 two-bedroom apartments.
The first phase of the project will begin this fall when 94 homes are built. Andy Warnock of the community's developer, Redwood Acquisitions, said he expects the 1,300-square-foot apartments near the Glenwood Commons business district to rent quickly.
"We see these apartments filling a niche in the market for two-car attached garages, because that's the No. 1 amenity people are looking for, especially in Ohio," Warnock said. "We think the demand will be high, but we're going to build one phase at a time."
Council also approved a final development plan that calls for the expansion of Buehler's.
The grocery store that sits on more than 17 acres on West Central Avenue has proposed the development of two commercial buildings in front of its existing location.
Work would include completion of a sidewalk along West Central Avenue as well as the installation of a traffic signal and additional lanes.
The plan calls for the 85,000-square-foot brick buildings to include a 90-seat restaurant and a parking lot that won't be visible from the street.
During a public meeting in March, neighbors of the development were in favor of the expansion, said city Planning and Community Development Director Dave Efland.
Upgrades to the area are not expected to begin in 2013.