Marble Cliff Village Council is considering legislation that would allow the owner of the building at 1600 Dublin Road to finance a project to complete energy-efficiency improvements at the site.

The improvements would be funded through a process known as Property Assessed Clean Energy financing, or PACE.

"It's basically a way in which a property owner receives funding for the project upfront and pays it back through a voluntary self-assessment of additional property taxes," village Solicitor Yazan S. Ashrawi said. "The property owner is assessing themselves a tax the same way a village or city could implement special assessments to pay for sidewalk improvements or sewer improvements."

PACE financing was established in 2009 in Ohio.

It is a cooperative public-private venture involving a property owner, a lender, a municipality and an energy special improvement district, Ashrawi said. The property owner works with the district to develop a plan for the project.

The special assessments will be added to the property owner's tax bill, he said.

"They are collected by the county with the rest of the property taxes," Ashrawi said.

The additional assessments are how the property owner repays the funding it received to complete the project, he said.

The requirement of paying the special assessment remains even if the property changes hands, Ashrawi said.

"If someone steps forward to purchase the property, they are accepting that they will be responsible for paying the remaining portion of the special assessment, he said.

"The benefits, I believe, to PACE financing is being able to bring increased economic development to the community," Ashrawi said. "Plus, there's the benefit of a green improvement project within your community."

"It's a chance to make an improvement to a building," Marble Cliff Fiscal Officer Cindy McKay said.

The primary tenant at 1600 Dublin Road is Time Warner Cable Enterprises; some leasable space remains available, she said.

"A project like this may help encourage companies to consider moving into the building, and that would mean more tax revenue for the village," McKay said.

Council held first reading on three pieces of legislation at its Nov. 19 meeting, Ashrawi said. The measures would give the village's approval of the request for a special assessment, authorize the levying of the special assessments and approve the project that would occur at 1600 Dublin Road.

The total amount of the special assessment and the project details remain to be finalized and will be added to the final versions of the legislation, McKay said.

The project will be included as part of the Columbus Regional Energy Special Improvement District, which is administered by the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority, Ashrawi said.

The authority is expected to give its approval to the financing arrangement for the project at 1600 Dublin Road later this month in advance of Village Council's meeting Dec. 17.

"The CFAA must give its approval and the village also has to give its OK for the project and the PACE financing to go forward," Ashrawi said.

Village Council will hold second readings of the legislation at its December meeting and, assuming the CFAA has given its approval, likely will vote on adopting the measures, McKay said.

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