TRUMBULL COUNTY Niles, Howland get jump on JEDD

A public hearing on the agreement is planned before city council Nov. 14.
NILES -- Some elements of a joint economic development district involving Niles and Howland Township already are in place, even though the plan hasn't been approved.
In December 1999, Howland trustees agreed to pay part of the cost of hiring an Akron lawyer to develop a joint economic development district. The JEDD was to be for the property at state Route 46 and Mall Boulevard, where Holiday Inn Express and Perkins Family Restaurant are now. The district also includes an empty lot next to Perkins.
Both businesses are owned by Sanray Corp., owned by Ray Travaglini.
Terms: The city would get income tax from the businesses and the township would maintain property taxes under the deal. The city also would supply water and electricity to the businesses at the rates charged to city customers.
But that's already happening.
The company has been sending income tax from the businesses and their employees to the city since early 2000. The businesses also have been getting water and electricity at inside-Niles rates. The city's income tax is 1.5 percent.
If the plan isn't approved, the income taxes collected would have to be returned.
"Worst-case scenario, we refund the money," said Mayor Ralph A. Infante Jr.
Cost difference: Inside-city electric rates are 17 percent lower than outside city rates. For water, outside city residents pay $28.08 monthly based on the use of 7,481 gallons a month. Customers inside the city pay $18.84 a month based on the same usage.
A public hearing on the resolution is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 14 in council chambers. The agreement must be approved by Niles council, Howland trustees and Trumbull County commissioners.
If approved, it would be the first JEDD in Trumbull County.
Other conditions: The city also would agree under the plan not to annex the district area.
Under the agreement, which would last for 50 years, the township would continue to provide fire and police protection to the district area, which is part of the Howland school district. It also calls for a five-member board of directors to be appointed to govern the district.
The board would include two members from each entity, appointed by trustees and the mayor. One township member would be a township trustee who would serve for two years, and a second would be a representative of the owners of businesses located within the district, who would serve for three years.
The city members will be the mayor, who will serve a one-year term, and a representative of the people working within the district who will serve for four years.
The fifth member, selected by the other four board members, will serve for four years. No fewer than two board members shall be residents of each community. Members won't get paid.
District proceeds will pay operating expenses of the district, including economic development activities and the cost of preparing documents to form the JEDD.

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