Its annual report from 2017 shows Prairie Township's emphasis on development is paying off.

The recently released report shows revenue increased by nearly $3 million last year, most of it in grants from the state of Ohio. It also shows that township expenditures increased by $3.6 million last year.

Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker said both the increase in revenue and spending can be attributed to the sports complex currently under construction at 1503 Galloway Road.

The township received a total of $1.9 million in combined funding from the state capital improvement budget and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to pay for trails and facilities at the 110-acre site.

"The grants were a huge part of it," Hatmaker said. "And the JEDZ is turning out to be a bigger resource than we ever expected."

Approved by voters in 2011, the Joint Economic Development Zone affects commercial areas in the West Broad Street corridor from Interstate 270 to Hilliard Rome Road.

Employees working in the area pay a 2.5 percent income tax, keeping those funds in the township instead of following workers to their home communities.

"Revenue from the JEDZ was actually about $140,000 higher," Hatmaker said.

Income from another development district mostly encompassed by the Home Depot on South Grener Avenue also came in about $26,000 higher than anticipated, he said.

Combined, the two areas accounted for about $1.7 million in township revenue.

Those increases are a combination of conservative budgeting and increased commercial activity, Hatmaker said.

He expects investment in the West Broad Street area to continue to be a priority.

"It's nice to see this revenue being so healthy so that we can definitely keep it up and take that next step," he said.

According to the annual report, revenue is outpacing expenditures in nearly every township department except fire and EMS.

As part of a cost-savings effort, the township on Dec. 1 turned over dispatching services to Grove City, paying the city $168,540 annually. Previously, the township employed four full-time dispatchers and was spending more than $300,000 a year to operate aging technology, Hatmaker said.

Voters will be asked on May 8 to pass a 3.61-mill permanent levy.

If approved, the levy will cost homeowners $126.35 per every $100,000 in home value. It is expected to generate about $1 million in additional revenue annually.

Other accomplishments highlighted in the report include the implementation of a redevelopment study that was completed in 2016, and the do-not-knock and transient vendor registries, which regulates solicitors in the township.

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"It's nice to see this revenue being so healthy so that we can definitely keep it up and take that next step,"

-- TRACY HATMAKER

Prairie Township administrator