New Albany has secured multiple loans to add sewer and water lines to the New Albany International Business Park.

Both sets of lines are related to the continued growth of the park and keeping development potential from being limited, according to city officials.

The utility improvements are important because the business park helps the city provide services to residents with income-tax revenue from businesses there, said city spokesman Scott McAfee. Eighty percent of the city's budget comes from income-tax revenue, he said.

The park has more than 15,000 workers on about 4,500 acres, McAfee said.

Thus far, the city has secured $36.5 million in loans for sewer and water improvements, according to McAfee. The loans have different interest rates, but they all may be paid early, with no penalty, he said.

The first loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority was for $19.8 million, at 1 percent interest for years 1 to 14 and 4 percent interest for years 16 to 30, McAfee said. The city also took out a supplemental $5 million OWDA loan at 3 percent interest for 30 years, he said. Both loans were for water and sewer improvements, he said.

New Albany also is taking a $11.7 million OWDA loan at 3 percent interest for 30 years that will fund part of the sewer project, he said. New Albany City Council on Feb. 5 voted 6-0, with Chip Fellows absent, to approve an ordinance authorizing the execution of that loan agreement.

For the sewer project, New Albany is connecting to a Columbus line, said city engineer Michael Barker. The current line ends at the southwest corner of Reynoldsburg-New Albany and Morse roads, he said, and Columbus is extending the line east.

New Albany's part of the project is called the Blacklick Creek Sewer Project. New Albany's Blacklick Creek trunk sewer will serve about 9,000 acres, including undeveloped land in the business park and businesses in the Blacklick Campus and the Personal Care and Beauty Campus, according to a Feb. 5 City Council legislative report.

Without enough pipes in the area, the city had been using "booster stations" to pump sewage into the Columbus lines to the west, McAfee said. The new lines will take the waste south and directly to Columbus for treatment, Barker said.

Though most sewer-service improvements are in Franklin County, the improvements would serve areas of Licking County, as well, he said.

New Albany contractually is obligated, depending on funding, to connect to the Columbus portion and extend the sewer to Smith's Mill Road by 2020, according to the Feb. 5 legislative report.

Construction already has started on several parts of the Blacklick Creek trunk sewer project, according to the legislative report, and City Council is ready to bid other portions of it.

On Feb. 5, City Council approved a resolution authorizing the advertisement and bidding for those portions of the project.

The bids would be valid for 180 days, so the city can have the option to move forward with a bid price in the future and go to City Council to seek approval, Barker said.

The city does not have a funding source identified for some of that work, McAfee said.

Meanwhile, the water-line improvements for the business park would mean water sources would come from two directions, so a break in one water line would not mean shutting down the entire campus, Barker said.

The new lines would provide water redundancy, McAfee said. For example, he said, if one water line needs to be turned off for work, another line still could serve an area, he said.

By August, a new water line should be added along Beech Road, from Morse Road to Smith's Mill Road, McAfee said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah