Jefferson Township and the city of Whitehall have partnered to set up a joint economic-development district.
Whitehall City Council voted 6-0 in favor of a JEDD contract Jan. 7, with member Wes Kantor absent. Those voting in favor were Robert Bailey, Karen Conison, Lori Elmore, JoAnna Heck, Larry Morrison and Chris Rodriguez.
Jefferson Township trustees voted unanimously in favor of the contract Dec. 23.
Mike Anderson, the township's development director, said the JEDD area includes 12.4 acres on Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, near the intersection with North Street.
A JEDD is a specified development area that collects revenue from mixed-use residential and commercial development as a way to self-fund additional resources required to be economically viable, according to Anderson.
A JEDD contract between a township and municipality allows for an income tax to be imposed on parcels within the district to fund needed economic-development-related activities. Only the parcel or parcels within the JEDD are subject to the tax.
In the case of the Jefferson Township-Whitehall JEDD, Anderson said, only one parcel, which contains the Grays Point at Blacklick Station mixed-use development, is subject to the tax. The property owner of the single parcel within the JEDD petitioned to be included in the JEDD; no other parcels are included.
Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard said Jefferson Township is only a few miles away from the city and leaders of both entities believe in thoughtful and well-planned development.
"Whitehall has a long history of working with Jefferson Township in different capacities, such as MORPC," she said. "As for the benefit, Whitehall will receive 10% of the income-tax revenue generated by the 12-acre development in Jefferson Township."
Jefferson Township will get the majority of tax money with 90%, minus some administrative cost for collecting the funds and managing the JEDD program, Anderson said.
He said the township teamed with Whitehall as the municipality because its leaders were willing to accept the 10% and facilitate the collection of taxes.
"We are very glad to see this partnership come to fruition," he said. "This is a unique opportunity, as we have a property owner who initiated the process in order to partner with us to create a new funding source for the promotion and revitalization of the Blacklick Station area, and another local government in the city of Whitehall who is willing to partner with us to help us pave the way to the creation of a walkable, mixed-use district in our historic commercial area."
Anderson said the JEDD would provide an additional revenue stream that eases the burden on township residents for township infrastructure, while creating a funding source for the promotion and revitalization of the Blacklick Station area.
ThisWeek reporter Kevin Corvo contributed to this story.