The Beulah Park Living development near Grove City's Town Center is expected to bring an influx of new housing and residents – and that is something to think about when it comes to the need for safety services.
The mixed-use development on the site of the former horse racing track is expected to include 264 apartment units, 104 ranch-style houses, 80 townhome condominiums, 94 assisted-living units and 256 single-family residences in its first phase. The first-phase construction is expected to take two to three years.
By the time the second phase is completed in another seven to nine years, the development is projected to have up to 972 residences, along with commercial and office development.
"Beulah Park is a good thing for Grove City and a good thing for the township," said Dave Burris, chairman of the Jackson Township trustees.
"It's the right use for that land," township administrator Shane Farnsworth said.
While the township welcomes the new development, all the new housing and residents, along with other development that will be part of Beulah Park Living, will put an additional burden on the township's fire department, he said.
The township has approached Grove City asking for the two sides to come to an agreement for how the township will be compensated for the additional fire and EMS service, Farnsworth said.
"We've tentatively reached an agreement where we will receive a new medic vehicle in 2020 and again in 2025," he said.
Each vehicle would cost about $320,000, Burris said.
That would occur during the initial 15-year-period beginning in 2019, when the development area would be covered by a Community Reinvestment Area agreement that provides a 100% tax abatement on new development as it occurs.
Grove City Administrator Chuck Boso said the terms of the agreement are still under negotiation with the details yet to be finalized.
Revenue from the first-phase development would be used to pay back the $5 million in city and $9 million in state bonds that are being issued to help fund the public infrastructure work for the project, Farnsworth said.
The agreement between the township and city would not affect or delay the timetable for paying back the bonds, he said.
After the initial 15-year CRA, a tax-increment-financing agreement would be in place through 2048 to continue providing a tax abatement for the project.
While by state law, the South-Western City School District must be made whole with the TIF agreement, the township would not receive any revenue from its 10.2 mills in fire levies from the new development area during that period, Farnsworth said.
The township has proposed that it receive 25 percent of the projected $24 million in excess TIF revenue expected to be forwarded to the newly-created Community Authority after the year 2029 and through 2048, he said.
"That excess money will only be available after the debt service has been paid," Boso said.
In 2018, the Jackson Township fire department made more than 10,000 runs, Farnsworth said.
"We're on track to exceed that number this year," he said.
The best estimate is that the fire department will make between 200 and 300 runs to the Beulah Park Living development once it's completely built, Farnsworth said.
Most of those will be EMS and not fire runs, especially with the influx of apartment and assisted-living units, he said.
It's hard to put a price tag on the cost of those additional runs "because there's so many variables," Farnsworth said.
"You don't know how many of those runs will involve transporting people to hospitals," he said.
"Both of us agree that the number of additional runs Beulah Park will bring once it's completed only adds up to an average of about one a day," Boso said. "That is not a huge additional burden on the fire department."
The Beulah Park Living runs will be handled by Station 201 on Grove City Road and Station 202 on Hoover Road, Farnsworth said. The proposed agreement is to be forwarded to the township trustees and city council in a few weeks, he said.