By KALEA hall
The developer of a proposed nursing and assisted living facility is asking Canfield City Council and Canfield Township to come to an agreement to enable the project to proceed.
John Masternick, owner and founder of the Girard-based Windsor House, told council at its Wednesday meeting he’s concerned his proposal to tie township land to the city through annexation could take too much time.
At issue is the ownership of a roadway between the township and the city where the proposed facility near Mill Creek MetroParks Farm.
“If there is a long litigation, it could subsequently kill the project,” Masternick said.
Council members said they would do their best to find a way for the project to proceed, possibly through a negotiated agreement or Joint Economic Development District with the township.
The city has never entered into a JEDD with the township in the past, City Manager Joseph Warino said.
Mahoning County commissioners have 30 days to make a decision on the annexation of 18.6 acres of township land to the city to develop the new facility. Masternick told council the last item needed to build is a source of water. Without it, the Ohio Department of Health will not approve construction.
The township has proposed an economic-development agreement through which the city would provide police protection, road maintenance, water supply and a sanitary-sewer service. The township would continue to pay half of the cost of the Cardinal Joint Fire District. The land would be part of the city, but the township’s real-estate taxes would be imposed and collected by the township. The city and township would share equally the 1 percent city income-tax paid by the nursing home employees.
Warino said he does not favor the township’s proposal, but is OK with the annexation.
City Law Director Mark Fortunato told council, “I don’t want to leave you with the sense that you have a legal obligation to enter in negotiations with the township.”
Fortunato noted that the city previously has “put its foot down pretty hard and said no services without annexation.”
Masternick told council the new home would provide about 70 long-term jobs for local employees.
“[This would be] Canfield people taking care of Canfield people,” Masternick said.
Masternick also asked council to consider negotiations with the township.
“It’s a win, win for all of us,” said Mayor Bernie Kosar Sr. “We have to work this out.”
Warino said the next step will be for the city to develop a counter proposal to the township’s proposal.