Economic development agreement progresses

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A long-worked on, much-talked about economic development agreement between Marysville and Jerome Township will come before City Council next week.

At Monday night’s city council work session, the body heard details of a proposed joint economic development district (JEDD).

Officials say the JEDD establishes tax revenue sharing between the jurisdictions in order to improve and expand infrastructure to ready sites for development in a more cost efficient and effective manner.

As part of the agreement, new businesses in the district, along with their employees, would be subject to Marysville’s 1.5% income tax.

Officials clarified that legislation actually creates a Cooperative Economic Development Agreement (CEDA), which would create and oversee the JEDD. The actual JEDD will need additional approval.

Any property located in the district, developing with a non-residential use and requesting water or sewer service, would be required to join the JEDD. Union County Economic Development Director Eric Phillips said any site already developed will not be included in the district and will not be subject to the tax.

According to the agreement, 55% of the revenue generated by the JEDD will be used for infrastructure construction and improvement in the district or benefitting the district, 10% will go to the county’s Community Improvement Corporation and be dedicated for economic development marketing of the JEDD area, 5% will be used for administrative purposes of the JEDD board and the remaining 30% will be split between the city and the township. The city will administer the income tax and its collection.

Money and infrastructure projects will be governed by a five-member board that includes a township representative, a city representative, a county representative, a business owner from the district and an employee at a business in the district.

If the city income tax changes, the JEDD board could vote to change the income tax in the district as well.

As part of the agreement, the city agrees not to annex any land inside the agreed-on area unless both the city and the township agree.

Phillips said the agreement assures appropriate land will be set aside for commercial and industrial development and creates funding mechanism to help and ensure development pays for itself.

Phillips said that for Marysville, the agreement minimizes annexation lawsuits or disagreements; provides revenue stream without requiring full services provision; prevents the city from over-extending from its core; and builds Enterprise Fund from water/sewer taps and service.

He said that for the township it provides a revenue stream; establishes a moratorium on annexation; ensures the township manages its own growth, planning and zoning; and maximizes the value of land by providing infrastructure.

Phillips said that while it will take time for the agreement to generate revenue, there could be development coming to the area “sooner rather than later.”

Phillips said the city and Jerome Township began talking about a JEDD in 2003. He said that if a Jerome Township JEDD had been created 20 years ago, “it is estimated that $1-million to $1.5 million of annual revenue would have been realized.”

The process has repeatedly come close to an agreement, but has fallen apart for a variety of reasons.

Council member Scott Brock said hindsight is 20/20. He said there has been some missed opportunity, but “there is a bunch of stuff coming through the pipe so it is important to get this done soon.”

Council member Nevins Taylor asked Jerome Township Director of Departments Doug Stewart if the township was “100% on board.”

Stewart assured him the trustees were. He said that Jerome Township officials have already approved the agreement. Stewart said he has not heard any negatives about the proposed agreement, but rather the opposite.

“They want it sooner so there is a mechanism for paying for infrastructure before the growth,” Stewart said.

County commissioners Chris Schmenk and Steve Stolte also offered their support.

“We appreciate the relationship we have with the city and the township,” Stolte said. “It will benefit everyone.”



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