The city of Powell is nearing the end of a process to annex a 44-acre plot from Liberty Township, but city leaders aren't sure exactly how long it will take to wrap things up.

Powell has been working for months to annex the 44.29-acre tract of land on the northeast corner of Home Road and Sawmill Parkway. The space is set to become an Ohio State University medical facility that will feature two buildings, one of which is planned as an ambulatory care center.

Ohio State anticipates the site will employ 500 people and have an annual payroll of $50 million, which would make the project the largest in Powell's history.

In July, planning commission member Joe Jester called the site "an excellent location for the facility" and praised the amenities the project would provide.

"I think this is outstanding, and it's going to improve the quality of life in this community for years to come," he said.

In August, the city's planning and zoning commission approved the preliminary development plan for the ambulatory care center on about 30 acres at 3315 Royal Belfast Road.

At their regular meeting Oct. 16, Powell City Council members heard the first reading of the final ordinance in the annexation process, but city staff members cautioned the wait isn't over just yet.

City Manager Steve Lutz said the city is required to bring the ordinance to council around 60 days after the annexation is approved by the county.

But the city's wait will have to be a bit longer, Lutz said.

"I don't know when a second reading will happen," he said.

Lutz explained that among other finalizing conversations, the city remains in negotiations with Delaware County and Ohio State over an agreement for sewers that will cost about $900,000.

The cost is expected to be split among the three entities, but an agreement has yet to be reached.

Lutz said the issue is unlikely to return to the agenda for council's first November meeting and may have to wait until 2019 to be resolved.

For more information, visit www.cityofpowell.us.

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