October 3, 2002

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Council and trustees unanimously ratify economic development pact

Village Council and the Miami Township trustees Monday unanimously approved an agreement that allows the two governments to work together to promote economic development in certain areas of the township.

Under the agreement, called a cooperative economic development agreement, or CEDA, both the Village and Township will provide services to designated areas and receive tax and utility revenue from any developments arising from the pact.

The 10-year agreement highlights the continued interest of Village and Township officials in promoting economic development as a way to increase the tax base and create more jobs. Officials have said the CEDA is a tool to proactively work together to attract commercial enterprises to this area.

Village Manager Rob Hillard said the agreement “puts us on the map in terms of economic development.”
The agreement designates two areas to target for business development only: 46 acres of farmland on the northwest corner of East Enon and Dayton-Yellow Springs roads, which is owned by Vernay Laboratories, and 39.6 acres of farmland on the east side of East Enon Road, which is part of the Pitstick farm.

Both properties border the village limits on the west. Officials have said it was important to designate development areas that are adjacent to Yellow Springs to help preserve the agricultural nature of Miami Township.
Council and the trustees can agree to add other properties to the CEDA.

Council and the trustees approved the new agreement during a short special meeting Sept. 30. There was little discussion on the agreement, though several officials suggested that the passage of the CEDA marks a spirit of cooperation between the Township and Village.

Lamar Spracklen, president of the Miami Township Board of Trustees, said the agreement is an opportunity for the Village and Township to “enter into a new era, so to speak.”

Council president Tony Arnett said lately the governments have been “seeing a lot of formal cooperation that’s echoing informal cooperation that has been going on for some time.”

Council member George Pitstick said the most important part of the agreement is that it establishes a cooperative atmosphere between the Village and Township, which, he said, could reassure developers that the governments “won’t be fighting” about development or annexation issues.

Such animosity, in the past, could “turn people off,” Pitstick said. Instead, he said, Council and the trus¨tees will work in the “best interest of the village and township.”

It is not clear how the governments will work together to promote the agreement or bring future business development here. Spracklen said the parties will follow the agreement and work together. “Specifically what you do is yet to be determined,” he said.

In fact, the agreement contains no specific measures or plans from which the governments can start to promote development. The agreement says that both governments will share in the costs of promoting economic development within the areas designated in the CEDA.

Arnett volunteered to write a press release announcing the new agreement that will be distributed to area news media.
After the meeting, Ellen Hoover, president of Community Resources, a local group interested in economic issues that has backed the CEDA, said now that the CEDA is in place, the next step is to seek a developer for one or both of the properties. Hoover said the Community Resources board has not decided whether it will try to develop property.

Hillard and Hoover also said it is now important to market the properties as available for commercial development. This effort could occur through the Greene County development department and American Municipal Power of Ohio, the Village’s wholesale power distributor, which also has an economic development office. Hillard said he hopes the Village can attract existing businesses in Ohio and in the region as well as help provide space for local businesses that want to expand.

Hoover said it is unlikely that a development will be built in the next year, though she called a two-year time period optimistic and three as doable.

The CEDA does not contain an actual development project, nor does it say how a project would be constructed. Rather it provides a framework through which the Village and Township would work together to encourage commercial development, from which both governments would benefit financially.

For instance, portions of the properties designated for development in the agreement will eventually be annexed into Yellow Springs. Under the terms of the agreement, the trustees will not oppose or fight annexation. Only land intended for commercial use could be annexed into town as part of the CEDA. The agreement clearly says residential development cannot occur through the CEDA.

The Village will provide water and sewer services to the annexed properties. The agreement says the property owners or developers will have to provide the utility distribution systems to future developments. In addition, the Village will provide police protection, street lighting and other services.

Miami Township agrees to provide fire and EMS protection, snow removal and some road maintenance services.
The Village will receive income taxes and utility revenue from businesses in the annexed properties.

The Township will receive property and real estate taxes equivalent to the amount of money the Township would have received if any of the properties had remained in Miami Township. The agreement says Council and the trustees have to agree to provide to a developer any incentives, including tax abatements, that would affect the Township’s revenue from the CEDA.

Without annexing land into Yellow Springs, economic development can not occur under the CEDA. In a letter to Mucher, Suzanne Schmidt, a senior assistant prosecuting attorney with the Greene County prosecutor’s office, said the Village can not levy its income tax on a property unless it is annexed and becomes part of Yellow Springs.

—Robert Mihalek