New Albany is continuing a project that will provide a new route for sanitary-sewer service and provide infrastructure for future development.

The utility improvements are important because the New Albany International Business Park helps the city provide services to residents with income-tax revenue from businesses there, said city spokesman Scott McAfee. More than 80% 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.

The project is necessary because when the business park's Personal Care and Beauty Campus was built, the city of Columbus allowed New Albany temporarily to divert sanitary sewer discharge from the Blacklick Creek Trunk Sewer to the Rose Run Sanitary Sewer, said New Albany city engineer Mike Barker.

That connection was intended to be temporary, Barker said, and the diversion area is nearing capacity. When infrastructure is in place, "there will be no interruption to existing service" as part of the disconnect from the temporary sanitary sewer route, he said.

New Albany is contractually obligated, depending on funding, to connect its portion of sanitary sewer infrastructure to the Columbus portion and extend the sewer to Smith's Mill Road this year, Barker said.

Some of that work has been completed.

Last year, the city finished a portion of the Blacklick Creek Trunk Sewer from the end of the Columbus line at Reynoldsburg-New Albany and Morse roads east to Beech Road, Barker said.

The next section, designated part 2B, will pick up the connection between Babbitt and Beech roads and extend north to connect to Smith's Mill Road and just north of Innovation Campus Way West, he said.

After that, the city can begin another portion of the project, designated part 3: a continuation of the line at Innovation Campus Way West north to Jug Street and east along a point near Harrison Road, Barker said. It is this portion of the sewer that would provide infrastructure for future development, he said.

New Albany City Council on Feb. 4 unanimously approved two resolutions related to the Blacklick Creek Sanitary Trunk Sewer.

The first authorized City Manager Joseph Stefanov to advertise, bid, award and execute contracts related to the construction of part 2B.

The second authorized Stefanov to enter into service contracts for the part 3 design and design modification of part 2B, according to the legislative report.

The preliminary estimate for construction of part 2B of the project is $13 million, and construction is expected to last 12 months, according to the legislative report.

The service contracts for design of part 3 and modification of part 2B are not to exceed $275,000, the legislative report said.

A funding source and construction timeline for part 3 hasn't been established, according to the legislative report.

The city still is looking for funding for part 2B, as well, and is working with the Ohio Water Development Authority, Barker said.

Although the city likely won't bid the project until it has a committed funding source, Barker said he would like to see construction start on this portion of the sewer sometime this summer.

In other council business Feb. 4, council unanimously approved salary increases for the mayor, whoever presides over mayor's court and council members for 2020. Council member Colleen Briscoe, who also serves as president pro tem and is an attorney, presides part-time over mayor's court, said council clerk Jennifer Mason.

According to the legislative report, the salary increased for each by 2.75%, commensurate with the annual increase city staff members received for 2020.

Those increases bring the mayor's annual salary from $24,121.82 to $24,785.17; mayor's court from $5,532.53 to $5,684.67; and council from $11,054.26 to $11,358.25, according to the legislative report.

Every 11 to 12 years, the city has an extra pay period because of accumulated partial pay periods from previous years, and 2020 is one of those years, according to the legislative report.

As such, the total annual 2020 salary for the mayor is $25,738.45; $5,903.31 for mayor's court and $11,795.11 for council members.

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