The Pataskala Corporate Park is expected to hold a required annual meeting to include city councils from Newark and Pataskala, trustees of Harrison Township and the county commissioners.

The Pataskala Corporate Park is expected to hold a required annual meeting to include city councils from Newark and Pataskala, trustees of Harrison Township and the county commissioners.

"The meeting is intended to be an opportunity for the mutual sharing of information and ideas," said JEDD member Tim Boland, Pataskala city administrator, quoting the JEDD contract.

"The city would be happy to host that meeting," Boland said. "We have a council workshop Oct. 11, so I know I can get the mayor and Pataskala council here. If that date doesn't work we can check how we can fill that requirement."

Attorney Dennis Schwallie, bond counsel for Pataskala, said that it would be reasonable for the JEDD board to understand that it might not be practicable for everyone to attend.

"The main thing is, the stakeholders have a chance to be represented at a meeting to find out what has been going on and what's being planned, so you don't have a JEDD operating in the dark," Schwallie said. "I think the best you can do is invite people on a date that you think will work. There's always a chance that people won't show up, but it's in the spirit of the agreement. In retrospect, we probably should have provided representation to the board for a meeting like that, but the agreement is what it is."

In other business, the board also discussed naming the newly completed roadway through the job ready site, from Broad Street to Refugee Road. JEDD member Howard Emswiler suggested Red Chip Road, named after his family farm that makes up the JEDD property. Boland said he would seek input from city council.

JEDD chair Jerry Brems said the Licking County commissioners had passed a resolution asking the county prosecutor to submit a request for an opinion from the attorney general about whether the JEDD income tax would apply to pre-existing farming activities. Boland has suggested that the tax should apply to farming as an economic activity within the JEDD, but board members have said it is an open question. The board previously asked the attorney general for an opinion, but the request was rejected on the technicality that such requests must come from the prosecutor's office.

The board also discussed whether tax incentives should be applied in the JEDD.

"The entire area of the Pataskala Corporate Park and the area surrounding it is within a community reinvestment area," Boland said. "A CRA permits a city to consider providing tax exemptions for new investment from real property taxes. It is an exemption on the increase in the value of taxes of the new improvements. At this point ... the city has the ability for new construction to negotiate and provide up to 100-percent tax exemptions for up to 15 years for any new commercial or industrial development in that area."

Boland said the corporate park also could qualify for tax-increment-financing agreements, where property taxes are collected but are used to pay for infrastructure such improvements as turn lanes and traffic signals. Boland said it would be useful for the affected jurisdictions, including the school district, to be on the same page before potential businesses begin inquiring about the site.

"I think it's worth approaching the superintendents (of the school districts)," Brems said. "We probably should not do that as a public body because it then becomes a public meeting."