West Jeffersons CRA expands

Boundaries of West Jefferson’s Northern Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) increased and initial blessings were given to bring a familiar breakfast name to the village’s industrial park.

At its Aug. 20 meeting, West Jefferson Council approved a resolution to increase the boundaries of the village’s CRA in the growing popular industrial park to include areas in the northwest area of the park which includes lands owned by developer MTB as well as a few private area landowners. That portion of the industrial park was not included in the original CRA agreement approved for Duke Realty two months ago.

MTB, as developers of a larger portion of the land included in the new boundary lines, had requested the village to be included in a CRA agreement to help the developer be on equal footing with Duke Realty as the two developers work with potential businesses looking to locate to the West Jefferson area.

Other West Jefferson news

•A resolution to authorize Mayor Tom Phillips to enter into a CRA and Zoning Agreement with the Kellogg Company brought a few questions from council as to the need for the resolution. Kellogg proposes to open a warehouse in the park area developed by Duke Realty. The Kellogg warehouse is proposed to be similar in size to Target’s current warehouse on the MTB side of the industrial park and is estimated to employee about 150 people.

Councilman Scott Hockenbery said he questioned why a resolution was needed since Kellogg and the developer were asking for the same tax abatement agreement as approved by council in June for Duke Realty development area. That agreement includes a 100 percent property tax abatement for 15 years.

Councilman Ron Garver questioned the number of employees the Kellogg warehouse would bring to the area in comparison to the size of building the company plans to occupy. Despite the questions, the resolution was passed by council.

"There are concerns about the amount of land the warehouse will take up and only bring about 150 employees to the village,” Hockenbery said following the meeting as he added he voted in favor of the Kellogg proposal only because the company will be leasing the building from Duke realty.

•Council approved a resolution to enter into an agreement with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning commission for a long range village transportation plan which includes traffic studies for the industrial park area along commerce Parkway and State Route 29. Costs of the study are to be split between developers MTB and Duke Realty.

Although Garver voted in favor of the resolution, he expressed his concern over the advisability of charging the two developers the entire cost of the study saying that there are other landowners in the industrial park area who will benefit from the study but will not be paying the costs.

An initial report from the study involving the needed upgrading of intersection at Commerce Parkway and State Route 29 is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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