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Sharon CRA discussed at Highland board meeting

2/13/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Scott Kriska

Bethany Dentler, executive director of the Medina County Economic Development Corp., spoke about Sharon Township’s Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) project at the Highland Local Schools Board of Education meeting Feb. 10.

The Sharon Board of Trustees approved a proposal to establish a CRA involving land at Medina and Medina Line roads Jan. 28. Her appearance at the school board meeting was to inform the board and the public of the intent to pursue a CRA in Sharon.

Dentler said the CRA will serve as an economic development tool to compete for development projects, and companies that participate in CRA programs create jobs and new projects for the townships. She explained 223 acres of land would be used for both residential and commercial purposes, and the land could be used for a maximum of 14 years with up to a 50 percent tax abatement. She said the CRA does not abate taxes on land and existing structures, and the abatements would be on the improved value of the buildings in the CRA.

Dentler emphasized legislation must be approved before companies could break ground. She said the school district would be involved in monitoring the agreement with those sharing the tax benefits.

She also added information about the benefits to the Highland Local School District. According to Dentler, companies would be asked to negotiate an agreement with the district, which could result in donations or internships. As examples, she estimated new revenues to the district could total $79,900 during the 14-year period on a $1 million business. On a $5 million business, she said revenues could total $400,000 over 14 years.

Dentler ended her presentation by stating the next step is to take the resolution to the Medina County Board of Commissioners for consideration.

Also at the meeting, the school board approved the following:

  • a bid placed by Rush Truck Centers, of Ohio, for new school buses;
  • proposals for lawn care maintenance services;
  • donations to Hinckley Elementary and Highland Middle schools;
  • the use of Highland High, Hinckley Elementary and Sharon Elementary schools’ facilities and the waiving of associated fees for various purposes;
  • agreements with the Cuyahoga County Educational Service Center, Burges and Burges Strategists, Mann Architects and North Coast Council; and
  • various personnel items.

The next Highland Board of Education meeting is scheduled for March 17 at 7 p.m. in the Media Center at Highland High School, 4150 Ridge Road.

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