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Council denies tax abatement

9/26/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

One business venture will not be served a tax abatement to more conveniently come to Cuyahoga Falls.

At the Sept. 23 Cuyahoga Falls City Council meeting, Council voted down a tax abatement for Tamarkin Corp./Giant Eagle Inc. and GetGo Partners South, who had applied for a Community Reinvestment Area tax exemption of 50 percent — covering real estate property improvements for four years — in exchange for a $3.2 million investment, according to city officials. The break would have saved the investors $104,000 for the four years.

Council members Vincent Rubino (D-Ward 1), Mary Ellen Pyke (R-Ward 2), Terry Mader (R-Ward 8) and Jeff Iula (R-at large) were the only four members who voted in favor of the measure that would have paved the way for a GetGo Kitchen to locate at the former site of the Marathon Gas Station on State Road, across from the Portage Crossing development project.

In addition to a convenient store and gas pumps, the GetGo Kitchen reportedly would feature a café complete with indoor and outdoor seating, a coffee bar, burgers, salads, soups, sandwiches and even sushi.

“I want to see this business come,” Pyke said.

Councilwoman Carol Klinger (R-at large), however, said she did not want to be served sushi at a time when the Woodridge Local School District is “struggling for every tax dollar.”

Iula said he thought the tax abatement would be a good investment for the city, as more tax money would be generated and additional jobs created.

Mader stated a tax abatement is a necessary tool needed to attract business to Cuyahoga Falls.

“I totally support it,” he said.

Councilwoman Mary Nichols-Rhodes (D-Ward 4) voted against the tax abatement and said the residents in her ward were not for the measure.

City officials did not confirm if the denial of the tax abatement would halt Giant Eagle from bringing a GetGo Kitchen to the area.

Also during the meeting, Council approved legislation:

  • allowing for the demolition of all structures at 1337 Anderson Road and garages at 749 Magnolia Ave. and 2481 Northland St;
  • issuing an encroachment permit to Boston Buckeye Realty LLC for the purpose of installing a business identification sign in a portion of State Road, abutting the property at 1760 State Road; and
  • removing the “drop off zone” designation relative to the curb recess on the east side of Third Street, abutting the Cuyahoga Falls Library at 2015 Third St., and to permit parallel parking at the location.

Council additionally introduced new legislation, including:

√ an ordinance approving the preliminary and final subdivision plat of Portage Crossing No. 1 Subdivision, vacating portions of Coolidge Avenue, 21st Street and two service drives;

√ an ordinance authorizing a third modification of a contract with SRW Environmental Services Inc. for professional environmental assessment services related to remediation of property known as 4610 State Road; and

√ an ordinance approving the application of Portage Crossing LLC for the designation of a Community Entertainment District at Portage Crossing Redevelopment Site.

Council will hold committee meetings Oct. 7 and a regular meeting Oct. 14, both beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St.

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