Trustees discuss progress of JEDD in Franklin Township

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Residents in Franklin Township want a progress report regarding a proposed Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) and trustees addressed the issue at a recent board meeting.

Trustee Ralph Horn explained the background of the JEDD and how the township hopes to proceed.

Horn said he was involved with the JEDD at the infancy stage with Fire Chief James Welch, as well as a previous trustee. He said the township was under the impression that the city of Columbus would partner with them.

“When the initial JEDD was presented, the city declined to partner with the township and at that point the JEDD was put on hold,” Horn said.

Trustee John Fleshman said that when the casino developers came in, an agreement was made between the township and the city of Columbus granting the township permission to establish a development district.

“With a JEDD the township is splitting the cost of the money,” Horn said. “A percentage of the money goes to the city and another percentage would go to the township.”

Fleshman said the township pursued a JEDD board with the city that would require 70 percent of the money coming in to be used in the development district.

“There would also be residents, as well as one trustee on a JEDD board and they would meet at the township hall,” Fleshman said. “After a considerable amount of money was used when the township hired a gentleman to get the JEDD through working with businesses and talking to residents, they allowed us to go through the entire process and then turned us down.”

Fleshman said city officials explained that they did not promise the township a JEDD. The city stated that the township could have a JEDD, but they were not interested in a partnership.

“With all of that said, the township had to look for a new dance partner,” Fleshman said. “The township looked at different places that had an existing JEDD. The township went to Grandview, and we are now very close to getting everything done.”

The trustees added that they feel confident the JEDD will move forward with Grandview. Trustee Aryeh Alex said that he has had conversations with the mayor of Grandview and a majority of their council members, as well as the township administrator has worked with their development director.

In other news, residents voiced concerns about ongoing trash issues in the township. Residents asked if they could establish neighborhood clean-up.

“The township is in partnership with Franklin County where they bring non-violent offenders to help pick up trash and other needed tasks to work off community service hours,” said Jim Stevens, road superintendent for Franklin Township.

Stevens said if residents would like to get their neighborhoods added to the clean up list to let the township know.

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