North Canton Council President Jon Snyder said the city is holding up a sewer permit to make the developer agree to annexation.
A new hotel on the 2.7-acre site in the 3800 block of Everhard Road NW has the township and city of Canton discussing a tax-sharing agreement. Not everyone is pleased with how the city has handled the situation.
The former Burger King site is east of Whipple Avenue. TMI Hospitality of Fargo, N.D., plans to open a four-story, 93-room Staybridge Suites there some time in 2014. TMI Hospitality already operates the nearby Fairfield Inn and Residence Inn.
The city initially wanted to annex the Staybridge Suites property.
“Any time you can sit down and work out a cooperative agreement like that we’re always receptive,” said Plain Township Trustee Louis Giavasis.
The city and township would form what’s known as a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) and split revenue from the city’s 2 percent income tax with Plain, which would provide police and fire services. The city would sell water to the developer. The city is linked to the land through a railroad track that it annexed years ago.
Because any sewage from the hotel site would go to Canton’s plant, Canton would have to agree to any sewer lift connection permit.
North Canton City Council President Jon Snyder said Canton officials are holding up the permit in an effort to have the developer agree to annexation. Snyder wants Canton to agree to halt the practice. He wants the clause negotiated into an agreement with Canton for North Canton’s $1.9 million contribution toward Canton’s planned sewage plant upgrades.
North Canton sends its sewage to Canton’s plant. North Canton council tabled a vote on the agreement Monday, but Snyder expects it to be approved next week.
Canton was to pay $45.1 million and Stark County $41.7 million for the $88.6 million project. Canton City Council approved its portion of the project Monday.
A few years ago, Canton annexed a railroad track into the area, which impeded North Canton from annexing that part of the township. Snyder said North Canton already sells water to the TMI Hospitality’s other hotels in the area and wants to sell water to that site, something unlikely to happen if the site was in Canton.
“We’re not looking for a war,” Snyder said. “We’re just exercising our rights. … It’s not like they didn’t screw up our annexation deals.”
Snyder said North Canton has had initial discussions with Plain officials about a JEDD of other parcels in that area.
TOUCHING A NERVE
Samuel Sliman, Canton’s annexation coordinator, fired back Tuesday.
“Jon Snyder has no business trying to link their commitment to our water reclamation plant upgrade and anything we’re doing with JEDDs, CEDAs or anything else we’re doing with any of the townships,” he said. “It’s my opinion the mayor (Healy) is being too good to North Canton when we try to help them out on some things and what we get in return is crap.”
Page 2 of 2 - Sliman said he’s advising Healy to “tear up” a proposed amendment to an existing JEDD with Jackson Township that would allow the township to form a similar district with North Canton. The existing agreement prohibits the Jackson from forming tax-sharing districts with other cities. North Canton officials have approached Healy about carving out an exception. North Canton wants to form a JEDD with the township, splitting income tax revenue with it, at the site of Cain Toyota, 6527 Whipple Ave. NW.
An irritated Sliman suggested in jest that North Canton withdraw from the sewer plant and try to fund the construction of its own plant or call in “septic diggers.”
Snyder declined to directly respond to Sliman’s remarks Tuesday. He said that in holding up its end of the sewer project, North Canton is acting no different than Canton in holding up the permit for the hotel developer.
“It’s no different than what the city is doing,” he said.
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