Montrose Group does a great job of showcasing what communities in the state are doing in regarding to successful economic development. For those aspiring to move our community to point where we compete, their playbook notes are subtle reminders of what we need to do and have failed to do……..
Consider the following portion from one of their recent articles.
In addition, infrastructure funding for the local governments and the developer was funding through a JEDD set up years before in anticipation of the development that captured the income tax that would be generated by the companies and employees locating at the site. Finally, three speculative buildings were built and three companies, after the award of state tax incentives, brought over 1000 jobs to this 122 acre site within a couple years of the start of the project.
Funding set up through a JEDD in anticipation of the development…..
A Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) is an arrangement in Ohio where one or more municipalities and a township agree to work together to develop township land for commercial or industrial purposes. The benefit to the municipality is that they get a portion of the taxes levied in the JEDD without having to annex it. The benefits to the township are that it does not lose prime development land, it can still collect property taxes as well as a portion of the income tax collected, and it normally receives water from the municipality, which it may not otherwise have.
Where municipalities and a township agree to work together to development township land for industrial purposes. That is the key and that is what is most needed in our community from an economic development perspective currently.
The last County Comprehensive Plan in 2004 suggested the areas for this to be performed and gave us a good identifier of what we could achieve if we did that. They singled out portions of the 339 corridor from Belpre to Barlow and the Rt. 7 corridor from Marietta to Belpre.
Those areas are ones where industrial development could spur significant job growth and alter the face of our community for the next 75 years…….if we would only rise to the challenge and attempt it.
Admittedly it is getting tiresome trying to help our community move forward when there is little will to do so from a speculative development perspective. We are very much the mind that businesses will pay for the water and sewer to be run to them. At the cost of a million a mile for sewer and $600K a mile for water, that prospect all but eliminates our community from competitive business attraction.
We either figure out a way to get our communities to work together (County, City, Township) all working in unison, or we proceed as we have hoping that it all works out.