Townships, villages and municipalities have been working together to lure business to Stark County, either by annexing vacant land to develop for potential industry or creating an economic development district that brings industry without modifying jurisdictional boundaries.
An oil and gas business soon might expand into Jackson Township, bringing jobs and revenue from income tax.
Township officials, in partnership with the city of Canton, said they’re weeks away from finalizing a joint economic development district that would establish a branch of an existing oil and gas company in the industrial part of the township.
“We’re actively in conversations with them to try to get to the resolution,” said Trustee Todd Hawke.
The potential deal is one example of how area townships, villages and municipalities have been working together to lure business to Stark County, either by annexing vacant land to develop for potential industry through a cooperative economic development agreement, or creating a joint economic development district that brings industry without modifying jurisdictional boundaries.
PROPERTY, INCOME TAXES
The company considering locating in Jackson Township already operates in Ohio and is expanding because of the increased functions of the oil and gas industry in the area, Hawke said. Township officials wouldn’t release the name of the business, citing a confidentiality agreement. Details about how many jobs the business would bring or how much it would generate in income tax for the city and township weren’t available yet.
Fiscal Officer Randy Gonzalez said the goal is to be able to rely less on property taxes by splitting the income tax the Canton collects from the JEDD.
The money brought in under the development district would go toward the police and fire departments, which are funded by levies, so voters hopefully wouldn’t see a property tax hike, Gonzalez said.
The Stark State College and The Timken Company Technology and Test Center, which opened two weeks ago, was the township’s first JEDD, and it solidified an agreement with Canton that keeps the city from annexing the township’s land for 50 years.
Gonzalez didn’t have an estimate of what the test center will mean for the township financially but said “it’s not going to generate a whole lot of money” because the center doesn’t have many permanent employees.
The township received between close to $5,000 and $10,000 from taxing the contractors building the center at Frank Avenue NW and Shuffel Street NW, he said.
Hawke said the township is also beginning conversation with a third company — not in the oil and gas field — about a JEDD, but that’s “later down the road.”
While Jackson’s agreement with Canton was finalized in 2010, multiple Stark County governments are seeing the perks of revenue-sharing agreements set in place years ago.
Samuel Sliman, annexation director for the city, said one of the “most fruitful” agreements Canton has is the joint arrangement that allowed the city to annex the quarry area in Canton and Osnaburg townships in 2006. That agreement yielded a $2 million waterline, homes and a golf course, he said, and there’s also a lot of empty land ripe for future development.
Page 2 of 2 - Sliman said he’s working on a new CEDA, but couldn’t elaborate further.
The city also acquired what now is Mills Business Park, at the southwest edge of Canton, after annexing the land from Canton Township through a CEDA. Medline Industries and Old Dominion Freight Line operate there, and there’s a GE Oil & Gas building under construction that is expected to house 34 employees, said Fonda Williams, development director for the city. The I2r Power Cable Co. plans to break ground on its building in July or August and will be bringing between eight and 12 employees during three to five years.
Williams also said he’s working to draw a sizable company with a “significant number of jobs” to the park.
Within the Perry Township and Navarre JEDD, officials are preparing to open a bridge to Prospect Industrial Park, a 340-acre site at the former Stark County farm. The park, once accessible, is expected to draw big business, Navarre Mayor Bob Benson said.
Under an agreement between the village and Perry Township, signed in 1996, Navarre receives income tax from development on the land, and the township receives property tax, Benson said.
He said the park promises industrial development that would secure future funding for the village.
“I would love to be able to have an industry that would enable us to do more in the village,” he said. “Right now we’re doing OK, but I’d like to be able to have some of those extra things.”
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