SPRINGFIELD TWP.  The members of the Springfield Akron Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) held a meeting in October at Springfield Township Town Hall to discuss matters about the district.

The first order of business was to elect officers for two-year terms beginning in 2020. Springfield Trustee Deborah Davis was elected as chair, Akron Councilman Mike Freeman was elected as vice-chair and Springfield Trustee Dean Young was elected as secretary-treasurer.

The financial report was given by city of Akron Director of Finance Stephen Fricker. During the report, it was approved for the Fricker to distribute the tax sharing credited to the township and the city from the proceeds of revenue. The gross income from income tax for 2018 was $3,232,540.03 for the JEDD area.

Young said that in 2018 the amount that Springfield received for income tax sharing was $260,467.7, which was based on previous years collections. Fricker and Young discussed the payments and reports. The township was to receive reports of JEDD income tax collection quarterly within 60 days. Fricker said that did not happen and apologized. Young said it was a matter of concern that the township did not get the reports and Fricker said that will be resolved.

Tax revenue is up this year and Springfield receives 1/15th of the revenue of the JEDD properties in its jurisdiction. Payments to the township will be made quarterly in the future as well as reports of income will be generated.

The board agreed for an audit of the JEDD by Plante and Moran. Young said he were surprised that township were not involved in any preaudit discussion.

"We did raise some objections to the scope of the audit,” he said. “We would like to be involved in pre and post audit,” said young.

Chairman of the committee Mayor Daniel Horrigan asked for time for them to review the letter and they would get back to the trustees.

There were communication issues on both the trustees and the city’s part prior to the meeting and, both sides are going to work to resolve the issues and make premeeting communication better.

The committee discussed a sign that is to be posted at the JEDD site on Massillon Road. Young said it has been a discussion for nine years and that, at the time, he thought it was a good to let the community know it is a positive move and put the township and city on equal partnership. However, at this time, Young said he is ready to let the sign go. The cost would be about $30,000 and said he would like to move the money into being used for a consultant. That issue was tabled.

Later in the meeting, Horrigan said he would like to see a consultant complete a performance study of all of the JEDD’s past performance and future goals for the JEDD communities.

Young gave an update to the committee on the former Starfire gas station and the Canton Road Corridor. He spoke about the efforts the township has made to have esthetic lighting, walkways and landscaping for the corridor.

“We spent $65,000 from township monies for engineering," he said. "We have moved a couple of buildings to clean up the corridor and look to redevelopment. There are design plans ready.

The total cost of the Canton Road Corridor project is about $8 million. The portion the township would be responsible for, the esthetics costs approximately $677,000. The township has received $450,000 in grant funds and the share for the township would be $227,000 payable through a 10-year loan. The annual lighting cost is about $1,200. The board suggested using the PACE financing for the area lightening. It involves 57 light poles. 

“I feel the improvements benefits the JEDD district,” said Young.

He asked for the city’s cooperation in payment for the project. The city will review it.

The project was to begin this summer and with the AT&T fiber network going in currently the project has been delayed and will begin next year.

The next meeting will be set for some time after the first of the year.