By Kristin Rover
Union Township Trustees approved a resolution establishing a Joint Economic Development District with the city of Milford for two parcels of land in the Mt. Carmel area during their June 13 meeting.
“This is very similar to other JEDD districts,” Administrator Ken Geis said during the meeting.
Geis said the district includes the Mt. Carmel Brewing Company property in Union Township, as well as another parcel close to the brewery where he said owners Mike and Kathleen Dewey are planning to expand.
Geis said the Mike and Kathleen Dewey have worked to create a successful business in the township. They were recognized by Governor John Kasich last year for their efforts.
“In the beginning, the board was instrumental in helping the Dewey’s,” Geis said about the brewery. “We have assisted them in acquiring another property, and in return they have agreed to be entered into a JEDD.”
According to the Ohio Revised Code, a Joint Economic Development District can be created by one or more municipal corporations or one or more townships to facilitate economic development, to create and preserve jobs and employment opportunities, and to improve the economic welfare for the people in the area of the contracting parties.
“The JEDD is basically a partnership between the township and a municipality that allows for collection of the city’s earnings tax in that specific JEDD district,” Cory Wright, zoning administrator for Union Township, said.
Wright said the earnings tax only applies to employees working in that JEDD district, and he said the funds are used for future economic development in that area or relating to the district.
He said the city retains 15 percent and the township retains 85 percent of the earnings tax that is collected in the district.
“The city gets to retain a portion of the earnings tax for administration,” Wright said. “And the benefit for the township is they retain it for further economic development.”
Mike Dewey said working with Union Township officials has been beneficial to their small business and has helped them succeed.
“It has been beneficial to us because we’re a small business and we started off very small,” Dewey said. “Their accessibility being a small government worked. It would not have worked somewhere else.”
Dewey said that while he is not sure anyone is a big fan of taxes, he feels created a JEDD district will benefit their business.
“That’s a new revenue stream for the township,” Dewey said. “It makes sense because as the business owner, we are encouraged by the progress and development of the investment of the infrastructure.”
Dewey said he wants to see Union Township continue to improve even if that means applying a tax similar to a city tax.
“It takes infrastructure and it takes investment for businesses to be lured to Union Township,” he said. “If there is no activity you’re just being left in the dust.
Trustees approved the resolution to establish a fourth JEDD for the township.
“This is the fourth one, and certainly an economic incentive for companies,” Trustee Matthew Beamer said about creating the JEDD. “It certainly has my full support.”