Nearly three years after its home-improvement store plan was denied in Orange Township, Menards is back and hopes to build at a different location.

Nearly three years after its home-improvement store plan was denied in Orange Township, Menards is back and hopes to build at a different location.

A tax incentive for the proposed store won the unanimous endorsement of township trustees at their Jan. 18 meeting.

Trustees Robert Quigley, Jennifer Christian and Nelson Katz passed a resolution recommending the Delaware County commissioners approve a $1-million tax abatement for the store to help with an estimated $5-million in infrastructure costs. The proposed store would be built north of Orange Point Drive on the east side of U.S. Route 23.

County economic development director Gus Comstock told trustees at the meeting that the tax incentive negotiations committee a joint county-township group made up of representatives from the county, township and Olentangy schools supports a 10-year tax abatement for the store. Menards and county and township officials have been engaged in private discussions about the proposed store since late last year.

The $7.5-million, 162,000-square-foot store would sit on 22 acres of a 68-acre site to be developed by Planned Communities, Comstock said. The property would have room for up to 19 outlots, he told trustees. The store would employ 60 full-time workers, 90 part-timers and have a $2-million annual payroll.

Menards would pay the balance of the $5-million in infrastructure costs to extend several roads, including Graphics Way.

"The sales tax (from the store) would generate hundreds of thousands of dollars" annually for the local economy, Comstock said.

Trustees chairman Quigley said thorough discussions have been held on the abatement and the proposed store.

"This really benefits the township and the county," he said.

While county commissioners still must approve the tax abatement, Orange Township would handle any zoning changes for the site, which currently is zoned industrial. No applications for a zoning change have yet been filed.

Terry Stenard of Planned Communities on Jan. 18 told trustees that Menards is agreeable to the tax abatement proposal.

In 2008, a Menards store was rejected on the south side of Home Road, west of U.S. 23. The plan required rezoning and some neighbors objected.

A different developer was involved in that proposal.

Also Jan. 18, a representative of the Franklin Foundation sought assurances from trustees that they would support a plan to build a 20-unit apartment building for affordable senior housing in the township.

Plans were dropped late last year because of zoning concerns for the project on 1.9 acres at Gooding Boulevard, northwest of Corduroy Road.

Lynn Dalton told trustees a different site has been found. The Franklin Foundation wants to build the one-story building on 2.65 acres east of the Kroger store on U.S. 23 in Olentangy Crossing.

The foundation has not yet filed a development plan with the township, but Dalton said the 17,700-square-foot building would have both one- and two-bedroom units.

"We are hoping you can understand where we are coming from," Dalton said. "It is senior housing. That is who is going to be living there."

Quigley told Dalton that he appreciated her coming to the meeting but the proposal first must go to the township zoning commission.

"You're looking for some type of nod from the trustees," he said. "The zoning board is a separate entity and they have to review the proposal."

Christian told Dalton that if the zoning commission approves the plan, it would be very unusual for trustees to then reject it.

Also at the meeting, fiscal officer Joel Spitzer told trustees they need to begin looking into long-term record storage as well as the shredding of non-essential records. By law, some records are required to be kept for decades.

"The bottom line is we are running out of (storage) room," Spitzer said.

The township stores most records in fireproof filing cabinets in various buildings. New filing cabinets, at a cost of $10,000 to $12,000, must be purchased every two years.

The township has records that date back 150 years. Spitzer said about 100 boxes of non-essential records could be shredded. An outside company could do that on-site at a cost of about $100, he said.

In addition, a company could store some records off-site at a cost of perhaps $3,000 to $4,000 a year.

Trustees decided to discuss the issue later.