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The Suburbanite
  • Lawsuit opens door for annexation of Lake High School campus

  • A tentative agreement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the Village of Hartville versus the Lake Local School District Board of Education for the annexation of 48.773 acres.

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  • A tentative agreement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the Village of Hartville versus the Lake Local School District Board of Education for the annexation of 48.773 acres.
    Included in the acreage are the Lake High School and Lake Middle School campuses as well as the Lake Community Branch of the Stark County District Library, a Mercy Medical Center branch and the Lake Community YMCA. The Lake Athletic Complex and field house would also be part of the annexation agreement.
    “The Village of Hartville filed the lawsuit in February 2011 involving sewer services provided by Hartville to Lake Local Schools,” said Ronald Starkey, solicitor for the Village of Hartville. “We’d like the property to be part of Hartville since we provide the sewer services because we like to provide those types of services only to people and businesses within the jurisdiction.”
    Starkey also said that when Hartville started providing the sewer services to the school district in 2002, there was no way for the district to be annexed because the land was not contiguous to the village. Since then, parcels on the corners of Market Avenue and Woodland Street have become annexed making an opportunity for the area around the school campus to also be annexed.
    Currently, the board of education pays the village 200 percent of the established rate for sanitary sewer customers. After the annexation goes into effect, the board will pay the established rate with a credit of 100 percent of the rate. The district will pay the established rate for sewer services once the credit is consumed.
    Those working in the annexed area will be subject to a 1 percent Hartville income tax.
    Starkey said that some of the employees from the district or other businesses in the area may already pay the tax if they live in Hartville. Starkey did not have the number of employees affected or the total amount of tax revenue expected to be generated available at the time of this report.
    The next step is for annexation to be approved by the Village of Hartville, the Lake Local Schools Board of Education and the Lake Township Trustees.
    Lake Township trustees tabled a resolution to approve the agreement during a regular meeting Aug. 26.
    Galen Stoll, president of the trustees said they wanted to meet with both the school district and village officials before passing the resolution.
    “The trustees want to make sure everyone is in agreement as to who is taking care of paving and maintenance of the roads in the area and who is responsible for the signage,” Stoll said. “The township does not have an income tax so it will not be losing any tax revenue.”
    Starkey said the Village of Hartville is striving to have the annexation in place by Jan. 1. The agreement includes providing several services to the area and a revenue share that will benefit the district.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The agreement includes providing safety services such as police patrols to the campus comparable to the coverage provided by Lake Township,” Starkey said. “There is also an agreement for a 20-year revenue share with the Lake Board of Education.”
    The revenue share includes a 50 percent share of the income tax revenue for the first five years and a 25 percent share for the second five years. During years 11 through 20, the share would be 5 percent.
    Jeff Wendorf, superintendent at Lake Local Schools, declined to comment adding that the tentative agreement which is a result of a legal matter has not been signed.

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