JEDD questioned

Fairfield County Development Director Bill Arnett thanked Canal Winchester for its support of a multi-jurisdictional alliance, but at the same time pointed out flaws in a proposed joint economic development district (JEDD).

"I want to thank council for their strong support of the Route 33 Alliance," Arnett told Canal Winchester Village Council at its July 21 meeting. "The Fairfield 33 development alliance will encourage job creation."

However, Arnett feels the creation of a JEDD contract-which Bloom Township recently voted against-would make it difficult to win development projects. He said participating entities, which do not include Fairfield County, should wait until a project requires creation of a JEDD and then tailor the district to the specific project instead of creating one beforehand.

In April 2007, council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Lancaster, Bloom and Violet townships, and the city of Pickerington to create JEDDs, which are designed to foster regional economic development.

Previously, Canal Winchester Law Director Gene Hollins said a JEDD is basically driven by the landowner and the memorandum is a non-binding statement of intent.

On July 21, Hollins pointed out, "The concept of a JEDD was meant to bring parties together in a joint endeavor. Bloom (Township) is now out. We’re not going forward with the JEDD in its present format because Bloom is (still) in it."

According to the MOU, the two cities, townships, and Canal Winchester agreed when opportunities arise for the creation of a JEDD, all parties would enter into cooperative negotiations with one another, share revenues and costs associated with the JEDD, with the understanding the MOU does not obligate any party to agree to the creation of a specific JEDD agreement.

Nevertheless, Arnett said, "This is very different from other JEDDs. I feel this isn’t about development and will not bring development. I would try to craft a document to meet the (individual) needs of the project."

Councilman Victor Paini remarked he found it interesting that, although Fairfield County is not listed in the JEDD, they are opposing the agreement.

Councilman Bruce Jarvis added there is a difference in philosophy between the county and JEDD participants.

"The Fairfield 33 Alliance is so much further along in every step of the way," commented Mayor Mike Ebert, "and the JEDD is having difficulty even getting people to sign up for it."

Columbus Street

Reconstruction of Columbus Street was officially unveiled during a ceremony July 18.

Enhancements include: on-street, bump-out parking areas on both sides of the street, a reconstructed 21-foot paved roadway, new traffic and pedestrian signalization, decorative streetlights, new sidewalks, and additional roadway drainage.

To protect the environment in the surrounding neighborhood, the village used a pervious concrete pavement, which reduces flooding issues by allowing storm water to filter through the surface and stone recharge layer prior to entering drainage systems. Many large diameter trees were kept in tact. In a typical reconstruction project, all of the surrounding trees would have been removed.

"The road looks great," said Paini. "I’ve heard nothing but good things."

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