Vienna, Girard to talk about JEDPublished: 1/11/14 @ 12:00
By jeanne starmack
Vienna Township has asked Girard if it would like to form a joint economic-development district for property around the air base, said Girard Mayor Jim Melfi.
Melfi said Friday it’s too early in the talks to determine what the JED would include, but it could ecompass grants, sewer lines, waterlines and other infrastructure.
The city and township border each other near the city’s lakes.
The benefit would be that any development would result in more tax revenue for both communities, he said.
Girard and Vienna would gain revenue from employees at businesses within the JED from the city’s 2 percent income tax, said Melfi and Phil Pegg, a Vienna trustee.
Pegg stressed that people who live within the JED district but don’t work there would not be subject to the income tax.
All new businesses in the JED would be subject to the wage tax, but businesses there now would have the option of not joining the JED if they don’t want to, he said. If a business there now changes hands, it would have to join the JED.
For the township, the additional tax revenue would mean an expansion of services, notably the safety forces, he said.
He said there is one full-time police officer and one ambulance squad, so the township has had to rely on outside services.
“It would be advantageous to have a second squad,” he said.
Melfi said Vienna approached the city with the idea in early December.
“I made the council aware of the matter at the last meeting of 2013, and they were cautiously optimistic,” Melfi said. The council asked him to begin talks with the city’s law director and with the township, he said.
The process of creating a JED would take 12 to 18 months of negotiations and would include a public meeting, Pegg said.
The JED would be in land around the air base, with “some areas east and south and a little bit north,” Pegg said.
That land will have sewers by 2017, he predicted.
“Trumbull County commissioners are working on getting sewers extended past the airport, and then that area will become quite attractive [to developers],” he said.
The sewer lines would be extended along state Route 193.
The airport operates sewers with a pump station, but that wouldn’t be enough to handle more development, he said.