Marysville City Council is considering a new economic development tool that could help bring more business -- and tax revenue -- to the city.
At council's Thursday, Feb. 13, meeting, Eric Phillips, executive director of the Union County Economic Development Partnership and CEO of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, outlined a proposed Joint Economic Development District with Millcreek Township.
A JEDD is a contractual arrangement between a township and a city or village to share the benefits and responsibilities of commercial development, Phillips said. JEDDs have been used in Ohio since the early 1990s.
Since 2001, there has been talk about JEDDs with Marysville, Jerome Township, Dublin and Union County, but none have ever been formed.
Armed with a map, Phillips said a JEDD could benefit a number of commercial and industrial properties on Weaver Road and down Industrial Parkway to U.S. Route 42, an area he called the Northwest 33 Innovation Corridor.
Phillips said a number of lots are available, but there is no infrastructure to entice potential companies to locate there. Some lots have insufficient road access for commercial or industrial purposes and no utilities. He said a JEDD could help solve those problems.
"When a business wants to locate, they're going to want to know they have water and sewer. They're going to want to know they have gas and electric and all the services there. This will allow that to happen," he said.
"The JEDD is governed by a five-member board, including one representative each from the township and the city, as well as one representative from the JEDD's business owners and one from the employees of the JEDD's businesses. These four members choose a fifth member, who acts as chairperson," Phillips said. "The JEDD board may impose an income tax, which is normally the same as the city's income tax."
Marysville's income tax rate is 1.5 percent.
The income tax revenue from businesses located in a JEDD is shared between the partner city and township and can be used to help build infrastructure in other areas of the district.
In this case, the city of Marysville would collect the taxes and receive a portion for administrative costs. Most of the tax money, however, would be used to help develop the JEDD area.
Phillips said it takes about six months to approve a JEDD, but developing the affected lots is a long-term agreement.
"This is not something where we start a JEDD today. It's not going to be tomorrow when this property's going to be developed because you need income tax to generate those monies for infrastructure improvements. A JEDD agreement is typically 25, 30, 40 years old. It goes a very long time," he said. "This is building a foundation for the future."
Phillips laid out a timeline under which a JEDD framework could be developed by April, with an agreement coming between April and May. Approval would need to be sought from Millcreek Township, Marysville and Union County Commissioners between June and August.
Millcreek Township trustees have already held two public meetings to answer residents' questions about a potential JEDD.
Phillips said his presentation was just an introduction to the idea, and there are lots of details to work out. But the bottom line is the city and the county need to keep moving in order to grow.
"We need to get our stuff together, because we don't have our stuff together and we're missing great opportunities along this corridor," Phillips said.