Liberty, Girard propose JEDD

Published: Sat, January 27, 2018 @ 12:07 a.m.

Liberty, Girard propose JEDD

By Samantha Phillips


Liberty Township officials and Girard Mayor James Melfi met with the Trumbull County Planning Commission to discuss a potential joint economic development district between the township and Girard.

Trustees Jodi Stoyak, Arnie Clebone and Greg Cizmar and township Administrator Pat Ungaro discussed ideas on where to place one or more JEDDs.

Melfi represented Girard City Council at the Friday meeting. Council members must vote and approve any agreements after an economic plan is established before creating the JEDD.

The group determined a stretch of property from Belmont Avenue to state Route 711 and from Trumbull Avenue to Gypsy Lane might be ideal areas for the initiative.

The planning commission’s first step is to review the proposed area.

Ungaro said establishing the JEDD would create another incentive for businesses to develop in Liberty, along with the township’s tax-abatement incentive. He added both communities would benefit from establishing a JEDD.

“This type of discussion can lead to better cooperation between the two communities, and we both have a responsibility to our constituents to provide general-fund dollars for the safety of those respective communities,” Melfi said.

The proposed deal between Girard and Liberty would entail new businesses in development zones having access to Girard water for their business without the 40 percent surcharge rate. The township and city would split a 2 percent income tax collected from the businesses.

“I think it’s an idea we should pursue. It’s a positive for both communities,” Ungaro said.

Akron has been developing JEDDs for more than a decade, and Ungaro believes it’s time for Liberty and Girard to try establishing one.

Cities and townships typically establish JEDDs in order to avoid having a city annex township property for commercial or industrial development.

“JEDDs were designed to make it more peaceful, where we can both benefit and both communities get to keep their identities,” Ungaro said.

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