YORK TWP. – Attracted by the village’s water rates, the Nature Fresh Farms greenhouse complex being constructed in York Township has applied for annexation to Delta.
Nature Fresh requested annexation at the beginning of July, and the village council approved the union at its July 6 meeting. The application was forwarded to the York Township trustees, who won’t consider it until negotiations are complete, according to trustee Thomas Tedrow.
Whether or not the trustees give approval, or even act on the request, the final decision for the application will be rendered by the Fulton County Commissioners.
Delta Mayor Dan Miller said Nature Fresh already has a contract drawn with Delta, but it won’t be official until annexation takes place. Annexation would entitle the complex to Delta’s police, water, and sewer services.
Should the annexation be approved, the village would charge Nature Fresh its current inside-village water rate of $3.70 per 100 cubic feet of water-or 748 gallons-for the first two phases of the project. The current outside-village rate is $5.55 per 100 cubic feet.
The treated water provided would be used for irrigation, according to Delta Administrator Brad Peebles.
Beyond the complex’s second phase the village would provide raw water directly from its reservoir at a lower cost, also for irrigation purposes. However, treated water would still be available as a back-up source.
Once the Nature Fresh complex reaches its full capacity in the next seven years, Delta would provide Nature Fresh with a total of 1,000,000 gallons per day.
Miller said the contract should go into effect within 60 to 90 days. He said the village has been negotiating for annexation since the greenhouse project was announced.
“It’s a great opportunity for businesses, the Village of Delta, along with the townships and Fulton County. It’s a great opportunity for agricultural businesses to be located in Fulton County and the greater part of northwest Ohio,” he said.
Ground was broken for the greenhouse complex during a blustery April 10 ceremony attended by Nature Fresh President Peter Quiring and Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor. The $200 million project just off State Route 109 in York Township will grow to a dozen 15-acre greenhouses by 2022, and is expected to generate 300 local jobs.
The greenhouses will grow tomatoes, and at a later date will add peppers and other products to be shipped nationwide. The company hopes to begin growing tomatoes in September and shipping them by year’s end.
“It’s exciting to have Nature Fresh here and part of the Village of Delta,” Miller said.
The last annexation to Delta occurred about four years ago, when about 15 acres of Bay’s Farms joined the city at the northeast corner of State Route 109 and Airport Highway.
David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.