A sewer line running under the old Muskingum County Home property on Newark road was the cause of a heated discussion between the city and county Monday.
According to Zanesville Mayor Jeff Tilton, since 1996 the old County Home property has been a city sewer customer, but it’s unclear which entity installed the line and how it came about. The county thinks the line may belong to them, giving them a reason to take a second look at the Joint Economic Development District [JEDD] property that was given to Zane State College.
"A JEDD is between the city and the township, the county is just a third party. But we would like to see everybody work together that way everyone is getting just a little bit of revenue off this, it’s not annexed, and that way the township benefits, the city benefits, and the county benefits, because the county has a little bit of money in this project also." said Muskingum County Commissioner Jim Porter.
Porter suggested redrafting the entire JEDD agreement, and wants all three parties to work together. However the city still wants questions answered before they even consider agreeing to the JEDD.
"The county thought that they had a sewer line in there, and they want to go back to the JEDD agreement and see if we could work out a JEDD agreement. My thoughts were that when we left the the table a few weeks ago at Zane State College that we were going to do the pre-annexation. Now it’s all changed back, so a lot of questions need to be answered before we move forward." said Mayor Tilton.
Both the city and the county are taking a look into old documents and archives in an effort to unearth all the unanswered questions. Commissioner Porter does not think this issue will conflict with Zane State’s project plans for the new science and technology center on the old county home property, while Mayor Tilton believes a JEDD agreement would likely cause accounting issues for both Zane State and the city. The township, city and county are continuing to work together on the issue, which comes just two weeks after a verbal agreement to proceed with the pre-annexation of the Newark road site, allowing the city to provide water and sewer services to the county site.