Council president Tony Arnett last week presented a plan to spur the development
of a commerce park in Yellow Springs. In addition, a local group interested
in economic issues urged Council to make the creation of a commerce park
here a high priority.
At Councils meeting Jan. 6, Arnett presented what he called an enterprise
zone paper that outlined nine steps for the Village to take to accomplish
that goal. Under his plan, the Village would work with a developer to
build a park here.
The Village would not actually build a commerce park, Arnett said, but
instead would create an enterprise zone, or specific location
on which to build a park, and produce a marketing package for development.
He proposed the Village use part of its Economic Revolving Loan Fund to
purchase an option on land targeted for commercial development in an economic
agreement signed last year by Council and the Miami Township trustees.
Once a buyer for the land is found, the Village would transfer the land
option to that buyer.
The agreement, a cooperative economic development agreement, or CEDA,
designates two areas for possible development: 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.
Arnett proposed the Village cite a specific piece of property for the
As part of his plan, Arnett also proposed the Village identify what kind
of incentives the local government is willing to offer to the developer
and potential businesses, including tax abatements, funds from the Revolving
Loan Fund and incentives for extending Village utilities.
Saying the Village shouldnt be in the real estate business,
Arnett stressed the need to work with a developer. Our No. 1 friend
in this effort is whoever we pick to help us, he said.
Arnetts proposal came in response to a presentation by Community
Resources, which in a position paper urged Council, as well as the trustees,
to take concrete action to make a commerce park a reality.
During last weeks meeting, Sam Bach-tell, a member of Community
Resources Board of Trustees, who has been actively involved in the
commerce park issue, said recent developments in the local economy make
the need for a park here critical. Citing Vernay Laboratories
decision to close its local plants, and the lack of plans by other major
industrial companies to expand here, Bachtell said, It is clear
to us, Yellow Springs needs economic development if were going to
reverse the economic decline were seeing.
He also said that the Village must ensure that space and services are
available for a commercial park.
* * *
In other Council business:
Council unanimously approved a resolution to formally contract
with the Regional Income Tax Agency, or RITA, to collect the Villages
income tax revenue. Last month, Council members said they would hire RITA,
which will replace the City of Dayton. Dayton, which had provided the
tax collection service for more than 30 years, announced in November that
it would no longer provide tax collection services to other municipalities,
because of budget concerns the city is experiencing.
The Village levies a 1.5 percent income tax on people who work in Yellow
Springs and, in certain cases, who live here.
For more information on RITA, see the agencys Web site, www.rita.to.
Village Manager Rob Hillard said questions about income tax collection
should be directed to him. He can be reached at 767-1279.
Krista Magaw, executive director of the Tecumseh Land Trust, gave
a presentation in which she asked Council to retain the Village green
belt fund and to continue to help the land trust in its efforts to preserve
farmland and open spaces around Yellow Springs. Magaw said the State of
Ohio has available preservation grants that require some local matching
funds, which, she indicated, the Village may be able to provide.
Magaw also highlighted the need to provide an open space boundary around
town. With development cropping up in Fairborn, the west side of Yellow
Springs is vulnerable, she said.
Last month, Hillard recommended the Village not provide the fund with
additional revenue in 2003. According to the preliminary 2003 Village
budget, there is nearly $137,000 in the fund.
During the meeting, Arnett said that Council would leave money in the
fund and that Council would be willing to hear about spending that
money on preservation efforts.
Hillard reported that the Village earned nearly $143,800 when the
Village sold its Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield stock. Village employees
with health insurance will receive a total of $25,374 from the sale. The
Village received stock from Anthem when the company went public in 2001.
Because the Village cannot hold stock, it had to sell its shares.
Several Council members said that the Village should not spend its proceeds
on operational expenses, but instead use the funds on capital projects.
Council unanimously approved a resolution giving Hillard the authorization
to make day-to-day expenditures until the 2003 budget is approved.
There is an opening on the Village Board of Zoning Appeals. To
apply for the position, send a letter of inquiry to the clerk of Council,
100 Dayton Street, Yellow Springs, OH 45387, or e-mail, email@example.com.
Council unanimously approved a resolution to pay $730 in dues to
the Ohio Municipal League and $50 to the leagues Legal Advocacy