July 25, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Joint economic development district talks spur local interest

MEDINA — Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell said he’s interested in expanding economic development agreements with the city’s surrounding townships.

Medina Township trustee Mike Todd said he’s willing to talk about the idea.

Dennis Hanwell

Todd made the statement Wednesday at a joint meeting among city officials and the trustees from Montville, Medina, Lafayette and York townships.

Todd said he’s interested in discussing forming a joint economic development district with Medina, possibly similar to the agreement Montville Township has with the city.

He said changes in leadership among trustees have stalled proposals in the past.

“It’s a good time to start it again,” he said.

Todd said some businesses in the township have expressed interest in the idea of a joint economic development district.

“We have reached out to some,” Todd said, “And I know there’s a few that are interested.”

Under the agreement between Montville and the city, some businesses in the township along state routes 3 and 18 can have the option to have their employees pay Medina’s 1.25 percent income tax.

Twenty percent of the tax money is set aside for projects for the business, such as landscaping or sidewalk improvements, and the rest is split evenly between Montville Township and the city.

Medina City Council President John Coyne said the money for the projects is allocated depending on how many people the business employs.

He said since the district was formed about two years ago, the city and Montville each have received about $75,000 in additional revenue. Townships cannot collect income tax under Ohio law.

Montville Township Trustee Jeff Brandon and other officials stressed that it’s important to give businesses the option to join the agreement, as is the case with Montville.

Lafayette Township Trustee Lynda Bowers said she didn’t think a similar agreement could work in her community.

“I don’t think we have any shared boundaries that are conducive to that kind of a mechanism,” she said.

Other ideas discussed at the meeting were the possibility of Medina collaborating with the townships on scheduling soccer and baseball fields, sharing equipment and a potential study of fire and EMS services.

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.