CW eyes development options

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Canal Winchester is exploring its development options.

At Canal Winchester Village Council’s Nov. 26 committee meeting, Law Director Gene Hollins briefed council on meetings held with Canal Winchester, Lancaster, Pickerington, Violet and Bloom townships on a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD).

"We’ve been meeting for several months with jurisdictions neighboring our borders," said Hollins. "The JEDD is an alternative to annexation and is somewhat similar to the CEDA, which is the ability to share the benefits of development with the township, but with annexation. With a JEDD, you don’t annex. Jurisdictions, for the first time, are cooperating and coming together and came up with an idea to get on the same page for a corridor for commercial and industrial development."

According to Hollins, the only property currently in the joint development district is north of Busey Road and west of Diley Road. Property owners wanting to take advantage of a JEDD must petition to be included in the district. Governments cannot create a JEDD on private property identified for commercial and/or industrial development. Residential development is not permitted in a JEDD.

The term of the agreement between neighboring entities is 30 years and all parties agree not to annex into the JEDD, which is administered by a five-member board. Utility services will, for the most part, be provided by Fairfield County.

"We would now derive some income tax revenue from where we didn’t anticipate," said Hollins. "We don’t want to hodgepodge development. This is a commitment to higher quality and uniform standards all up and down the corridor. It will be up to the townships to make this work. It’s been encouraging to see the cooperation of five entities around the table."

A public hearing is set for Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the JEDD.

TIF

Finance Director Nanisa Osborn said Canal Winchester was asked to consider the creation of a non-school Tax Increment Financing District (TIF) for the Mount Carmel/Fairfield and Meijer properties.

The TIF is an infrastructure economic development tool authorized by the Ohio Revised Code designed to provide a mechanism for funding infrastructure improvements directly benefiting commercial development that leads to economic development.

Under the terms of a TIF, a property owner is required to make payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) in an amount equal to the real property taxes that would have been payable if the property owner had not received the TIF exemption.

PILOTs paid by property owners are deposited into a special TIF fund and used to pay the costs of infrastructure improvements directly benefiting the property. The exemption only relates to the increased value of the land and new buildings. Real property taxes continue to be collected and distributed to county, township, municipality, school, and special districts.

In discussing TIF revenue projections provided by Mount Carmel/Fairfield, Osborn said, "I have reviewed them at length and believe they accurately reflect the tax rates and calculations. The revenue and values…appear to be appropriate for the projects concerned. The revenue projections provide us with some idea of the dollars that would be available to make debt payments for infrastructure constructed in the area. The TIF district can be a benefit to the village if we structure the district and our requirements correctly."

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