Another piece of the Jerome Village puzzle is taking shape, this piece providing water and sewer to the proposed development.

Another piece of the Jerome Village puzzle is taking shape, this piece providing water and sewer to the proposed development.

Marysville City Council added a resolution to its consent calendar on April 22, authorizing water and sanitary sewer service to the Jerome Village Community Authority (JVCA), and authorizing a service agreement. If approved after three readings, the resolution also would amend other related documents to provide water and sewer for the new development.

In a presentation on the project to the council, city administrator Jillian Froment explained why the process has been so detailed. Marysville, Union County, developer Highland Real Estate and the JVCA have been in negotiations for the service agreement for about 19 months.

"Typically we would be the major service provider, but (Jerome Village) is outside of our area," Froment said. "So the first thing that had to be done was for the county commissioners to designate us as the service provider."

Froment said that other difficulties made coming to an agreement a slow process, such as the terrain of the area and a lack of existing water lines. Getting the proper language together to protect Marysville's water users in the same area, who are not part of the Jerome Village project, also was vital to the negotiations, Froment said.

After more than a year of negotiations, the agreement calls for no monetary investment from Marysville.

"The city is putting forth no money for this," Froment said. She added that the concern throughout negotiations was that current county and city customers would get saddled with extra costs because of the funds needed to run water into the development. Various safeguards have been placed within the service agreement to make sure that other users' fees will not be affected, Froment said.

Jerome Village will be a 1,585-acre mixed-use development in the southern portion of Union County. It will include homes, condos, stores, offices and a town center. Representatives of developer Highland Real Estate have said that the project could take 15 years to be completely built out. Seventy acres has been set aside for two new schools that will be part of the Dublin school district, and 200 acres will remain open space.

While the agreement states that Marysville will be entitled to collect sewer connection fees with the service area, the JVCA will be considered as a master user and bill the customers within its area. While this would prevent Marysville from receiving some payments it otherwise would receive if each individual user was paying the city, it also frees Marysville from maintenance costs.

"I would guess that if you have a bulk rate that is lower than the individual rates, but at the same time with no maintenance costs, in the long term you're going to save money," said council president John Gore.

A second reading of the resolution will take place at the council's next regular meeting on May 13.