The Westerville Board of Education heard the first reading Monday of an agreement that could resolve a longstanding dispute between Genoa Township and Westerville.

The Westerville Board of Education heard the first reading Monday of an agreement that could resolve a longstanding dispute between Genoa Township and Westerville.

The dispute centers on the tax-increment financing funds the township collects on the Northgate Plaza property taxes.

TIFs pool the increase in property tax revenue that new development brings, designating it for capital improvements in the TIF area, such as streets, sidewalks and traffic signals.

According to township and city officials, the situation is rooted in 2005 TIF agreements that were set up to generate funds for infrastructure work for what was called the Maxtown Road Project.

However, neither city nor township officials who were in office at the time ever signed the agreements.

The TIF district set up to fund the Maxtown Road Project involved improvements to roads in an area including Maxtown Road and bordered by Northgate Plaza in Genoa Township to the north and Northridge Plaza in Westerville to the south.

City officials say the portion of Maxtown Road between Purdie Metals

Inc., 525 Maxtown Road, and Tussic Road was included in a proposed amendment to the TIF, but it, too, apparently was never signed by either side.

Westerville has argued the TIF funds should be used for improvements in both Westerville and the township, Genoa Township trustee Rick Carfagna said. He declined to say how much money is sought, but in 2009, Westerville officials said they were owed $1.4-million.

Carfagna said Westerville school district officials have expressed concern about the loss of funds. The TIF will bring in around $407,764 in 2010 and expire in 2015.

Carfagna has been working with the city and the district to resolve the dispute. The parties have come to an agreement involving incremental payments to the city, extending the TIF to 2025 and allowing Westerville schools to collect funds.

The agreement also includes the city giving permission for the township to build sidewalks and bike paths on the city easement along state Route 3.

Westerville school board member Kevin Hoffman, who has been working with Carfagna on the agreement, said the TIF agreement is better for the township, the city and the school district.

"This is a great example of the collaboration that can exists among governmental entities for the benefit of all," Hoffman said.

Carfagna declined to discuss the specifics of the agreement with ThisWeek at the trustees' Oct. 21 meeting, but said he will present it in detail at their next meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11.

In other business last week, trustees:

Banned parking along the entire length of Center Green Road, which runs east to west between Tussic Street and Spring Run Drive.

Discussed seeking assistance from the Delaware County engineer's

office for the possible installation of a traffic light at the intersection of Worthington-Galena and Freeman roads.

bbutcher@thisweeknews.com

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