A tax deal made in 2002 to expedite development in the Stringtown Road corridor has produced a "windfall" for South-Western City Schools, according Grove City's mayor.

A tax deal made in 2002 to expedite development in the Stringtown Road corridor has produced a "windfall" for South-Western City Schools, according Grove City's mayor.

Mayor Richard L. "Ike" Stage handed a check to SWCS Treasurer Hugh Garside in the amount of $1.1-million at a school board meeting Feb. 9.

Stage said that the money came from the Parkway Centre tax increment financing agreement, or TIF, made between developers, the school district and the city to spur development.

"The schools become our development partner on the project," the mayor said at the meeting. "Without their partnership, the project and benefit to the community of Grove City would not have happened, or happened in the relatively short period of time in which it did."

These funds are not new to the school district.

Garside said he already projected the $1.1 million in the district's five-year budget forecast.

TIF agreements are a development tool in Ohio. They give municipalities the ability to allow developers to make payments in lieu of taxes, which are used to improve infrastructure.

Grove City's development director, Chuck Boso, said that the city borrowed $17-million to build infrastructure in the corridor.

The TIF agreement allowed city officials to pay off the debt with the real estate taxes.

Boso said that starting last year, any funds within the TIF district in excess of the debt service would go to the school district.

"It's already proven, in my opinion, that they made the right decision," Boso added. "I would predict they'll realize more money than they would have without the TIF."

He said in 2005, there was approximately $90-million worth of real estate at the Parkway Centre.

The figure doesn't include the Target store and future addition of a Kohl's store, which Boso estimated would create an additional $400,000 to the school district's payment next year.