commits money for commerce park effort
Village Council agreed on Monday to provide more than $200,000 in Village
funds as seed money in the effort to get a commerce park built in town,
and approved a development agreement with Community Resources, the local
group working with the Village and the Miami Township trustees on the
commerce park initiative, to secure property for a development site.
The funds would come from the Village Economic Development Revolving Loan
Fund, which has been used sparingly in recent years to fund low and moderate
income jobs to Yellow Springs businesses. The Village has a total of $312,000
available in the loan fund.
Most of the money up to $200,000 would be available for
Community Resources, a volunteer-run community improvement corporation,
to secure land, or an option to purchase property, for a development.
The funds would not be allocated to Community Resources in one lump sum.
Instead, the group would use the money as it was needed. Community Resources,
for instance, might try to purchase land incrementally in blocks of 5
to 10 acres, Ellen Hoover, the president of Community Resources, told
Council on Monday.
Another $11,000 would be used to pay for a part-time administrator, as
well as legal and marketing costs.
Hoover said in an interview on Tuesday that Community Resources hopes
to secure property by September. Weve made an awful lot of
progress in an awful lot of areas, she said.
At its meeting May 5, Council approved 40 both the second reading
of an ordinance amending the administrative guidelines for the loan fund,
which allowed Council to make the funds available to Community Resources,
and a resolution authorizing the Village to enter into the development
agreement with the community improvement corporation. Council member Joan
Horn was absent.
Council also said that it would be willing to provide more money from
the loan fund, if it was needed. Council members said that they wanted
to keep some money in the fund so the Village would have some money available
for new business loans.
Council member George Pitstick said that the Village had to fund the park
initiative in order to make it successful. He also said that the business
park is something that Yellow Springs really needs.
After the meeting, Hoover said Community Resources appreciated that Council
quickly approved the agreement, which was first discussed by Council in
February. Community Resources is really pleased with the support
Council has given with this project, she said. Were
moving really quickly to make this happen.
Council wants Community Resources to spearhead the effort to get a commerce
park built in town, because, Council members have said, the Village should
not be in the development or real estate business. The agreement takes
the Village out of the development process, Pitstick said, adding
that groups like Community Resources have the expertise to work with developers.
We are relying on them, he said.
The development agreement and the ordinance amending the loan fund gives
Community Resources the authority to use the Village funds to purchase
land or options to buy the land located with the Cooperative Economic
Development Agreement, or CEDA, which Council and the Miami Township trustees
approved last year, and to promote the development of a park here. A list
of five development activities attached to the agreement says that Community
Resources will market the properties to developers and actively
and diligently pursue and negotiate the sale of the land.
The agreement with Community Resources says that the group will pay back
the Village for funds used to purchase land. If Community Resources purchases
an option on land that falls through, the group would not have to reimburse
the Village, the agreement states.
The CEDA identifies two areas for commercial development: 46 acres of
farmland at Dayton-Yellow Springs and East Enon Roads, which is owned
by Vernay Laboratories, and almost 40 acres of farmland on the east side
of East Enon, which is part of the Pitstick farm. However, since a member
of the Pitstick family plans to build a house on the land, 32 acres of
the Pitstick property is now available for this project. Both properties
border the Village limits on the west and any land developed under the
CEDA would be annexed into Yellow Springs.
Community Resources may be considering land not identified in the CEDA
as a potential development site. Hoover told Council that the group has
received initial appraisals on three different properties,
though she declined to say what the appraisals were.
But in an interview Tuesday Hoover said that some of the property
Community Resources has considered is land listed in the CEDA, but, some
properties being discussed might not be owned by Vernay or
the Pitsticks. She declined to elaborate.
Hoover told Council that Community Resources has started negotiations
with one property owner, whom she did not name. On Tuesday, she said that
she could not discuss the negotiations, explaining that it would be unfair
to the property owner.
If Community Resources wants to develop land not listed in the CEDA, the
agreement would have to be amended to include that property.
Community Resources will either try to buy land or options on property,
or a combination of both. Hoover estimated that undeveloped farmland in
the area costs $13,000 to $15,000 an acre.
The group, which has been involved in the commerce park initiative since
1999, would ideally like to develop 30 to 40 acres of land, Hoover said,
because it would provide the most flexibility. Fewer than
20 acres would not be cost effective, she said.
Under the CEDA, both the Village and Miami Township would provide services
to designated areas and receive tax and utility revenue from any developments
arising from the pact. The Village could provide water and sewer service,
police protection, street lighting and other Village services to annexed
properties. The Township would provide fire and EMS protection, snow removal
and some road maintenance.
The Village would receive income taxes and utility revenue from businesses
in the annexed properties. The Township would 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 Townships revenue from the CEDA.