Pickerington Times-Sun

OhioHealth medical campus

School board signs off on term sheet for development


OhioHealth's plans to construct a 150,000 square-foot medical campus development on a 60-acre site at the intersection of state Route 256 and Refugee Road in Pickerington has cleared another hurdle.

A term sheet between the city and OhioHealth addressing road and infrastructure improvements related to the impact of the development was approved by the Pickerington Local School District Board of Education by a unanimous vote at its meeting Oct. 14.

A major provision in the term sheet authorized a 30-year tax increment financing arrangement whereupon proceeds from the taxable property would flow to the city of Pickerington. That money would be used to improve the area surrounding the property, including the widening of Refugee Road to five lanes.

The arrangement was subject to the approval of the School Board.

Attorney Steve Grassbaugh, who represents the city in the TIF negotiations, advised City Council of the revisions Oct. 15.

Grassbaugh said the school board asked the city to limit the amount of debt it issues towards the improvement of Refugee Road to $4.4 million.

He said the School Board also asked the TIF terminate once the debt is paid in full, even if the 30-year TIF hasn't expired. If that were to happen, tax money then would "be distributed in the normal manner."

Grassbaugh stated the third revised term was contingent on all phases of construction being completed in the complex after year 11 of the TIF.

"If payroll exceeded $10 million in those years we would be covenant to use 20 percent of our current 1-percent income tax to pay down the debt faster," Grassbaugh said.

He said this term, if it comes to fruition, would also accelerate the TIF ending faster. He said the School Board wanted this term because it felt that it was foregoing more tax revenues then it should be had the term not been included.

Pickerington City Council approved the revised terms by a 6-0 vote, effectively allowing the city and OhioHealth to continue to proceed with their own negotiations.

Board of Education President Cathy Olshefski said the board was satisfied with the new arrangements.

"We are on board with this deal," she said.

"This is great thing for this community. We are all looking forward to what OhioHealth (brings) as far as not only jobs, but (also) an increased economy," Olshefski said.

"We are full steam ahead."

Oct. 16, Pickerington City Council's Service Committee also approved OhioHealth's final plat for the site, which now is being readied for the first phase of construction.

"OhioHealth has initiated its Refugee Road construction site preparation activities," said Bill Vance, Pickerington city manager.

"OhioHealth officials have submitted their construction plans to Pickerington's Building Department for our expedited review and processing," Vance said.