OARDC, ATI Campuses To Be Annexed by the City of Wooster
WOOSTER, Ohio –The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), Ohio State University's Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) and the City of Wooster have announced an agreement by which portions of the land where both state institutions are located will be annexed by the City of Wooster. The campuses are currently located in Wooster Township.
The agreement will allow the Wooster campuses of OARDC and ATI to continue receiving water and sewer services from the City of Wooster, as they have in the past. New regulations by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) require cities not to expand these services to entities located outside their corporate boundaries that are not presently within a sewer district.
The boundaries of the annexation will be Secrest Road to the north (including OARDC property north of Secrest Road, where the planned BiOhio Research Park is expected to be developed in the future); Madison Avenue to the west; Dover Road to the south (including the ATI residence hall on the other side of Dover Road); and the Dix Expressway (U.S. 250/Ohio 83) to the east. Other OARDC and ATI farms and facilities located beyond these boundaries will not become part of the city as part of this agreement.
"OARDC, ATI and The Ohio State University are pleased to have worked with the City of Wooster in reaching an agreement that allows us to be able to extend existing sewer and water services to our campus and in the future to the BiOhio Research Park," said OARDC Associate Director David Benfield. "In addition, the annexation agreement allows for additional development and services near the Wooster campuses of OARDC and ATI that should prove beneficial to our faculty, staff, students and clientele in the future."
Currently, Ohio State and the City of Wooster are finalizing the details of the annexation agreement, which will set guidelines on how OARDC and ATI will continue to operate as state entities within the city limits. Once the language of the agreement is approved by the University and the City of Wooster, the document must still be approved by Ohio State's Board of Trustees and the Ohio Department of Administrative Services.
"In the long-term, I am confident that this will be very beneficial both to our campus and to the city," said Stephen Nameth, director of Ohio State ATI.
The annexation will not cause any changes to current school district boundaries.
"Historically, we've enjoyed a very good relationship with the OARDC and ATI, and we're pleased to be able to accommodate their needs, both for extension of existing services and future growth," Wooster Mayor Jamie Howey said. "We're excited about the prospects for economic development with the proposal for the BiOhio agricultural research park, which has the potential to bring jobs and growth to our industrial base. This is truly a 'win-win' situation for the city of Wooster, OARDC and ATI."
The annexation agreement will be effective once all parties involved approve it.
"OARDC and ATI have always had a good relationship with the City of Wooster, Wooster Township and Wayne County, and we look forward to continuing to work with each of these entities as we move ahead with the research park and economic development," Benfield added.
OARDC and ATI are part of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
David Benfield, OARDC Director's Office
Stephen Nameth, ATI Director
Jamie Howey, Mayor, City of Wooster