Today at their annual State of the County address, the Delaware County Commissioners announced a new economic-development initiative as well as new names for county buildings. The gathering was held at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center.

“DelCo Ready” is an initiative that will streamline processes for landowners looking to position their properties for commercial and industrial development.

“As part of the DelCo Ready program,” said Commissioner Barb Lewis, president of this year’s Board of Commissioners, “the County and the Delaware County Finance Authority takes on many of the initial costs and activities associated with site development.”

Among these costs and activities are utility analyses, road studies, zoning, site marketing and the creation of development incentives such as Tax Increment Financing and Community Reinvestment Area agreements. Incentive agreements through the County and the Delaware County Finance Authority can divert taxes to help fund public-infrastructure improvements or abate taxes for a period of time.

The County also announced new building names related to renovation projects it is currently undertaking.

“When we built the new County Courthouse, we learned it’s better to name a building sooner rather than later,” Lewis said. “It’s not only helpful for ordering signage, but also in getting everyone, both inside and outside of the organization, using the new names as soon as possible.”

The former Delaware County Courthouse, located at 91 N. Sandusky St., will be known as “The Historic Courthouse.” When renovations are completed next spring, The Historic Courthouse will become home to the Commissioners, their public hearing room, the Veterans Service Commission and offices for the County’s Economic Development, Fiscal Services, Communications and Human Resources Departments.

The Commissioners will be vacating the former Carnegie Library building they have occupied for many years and it will become a secure facility devoted to public-safety agencies like the County’s 9-1-1 Center, Emergency Medical Services Department and Emergency Management Agency. The building then will be called “The Carnegie Building” on County facility maps.

Finally, the County anticipates moving into what is currently the north campus of the Delaware Area Career Center in spring 2021. The County forged an agreement with the DACC in 2017 to purchase the 63.6-acre campus and 147,000-square-foot facility for $1.77 million. It will become home to the Sheriff’s Administrative Offices, Engineer’s Office, Regional Sewer District, Code Compliance Department, Delaware County Regional Planning Commission, Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District, and the OSU Extension offices.

The overall name for the campus will be “The Byxbe Campus,” Lewis announced, “honoring Moses Byxbe, the founding father of the city of Delaware” who was also the original site planner and engineer of the County. The Delaware County Historical Society has described Byxbe as a “man of exceptional energy, courage and drive” whose work attracted “high-caliber settlers” to the area in the early 1800s.

“The work done by many of the offices and agencies to be located there,” Lewis told the crowd of nearly 200 people in attendance, “will contribute to the quality of life enjoyed by the ‘high-caliber settlers’ we continue to attract today.”