The Lake Township trustees have turned to the township solicitor, Tom Hays, to represent the township on the board of directors of a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) the township formed last year with the City of Toledo.
The appointment of Hays will be on an interim basis until the trustees have had time to interview other persons interested in serving on the JEDD board.
Still, the vote Tuesday to appoint Hays to the board wasn’t unanimous.
Trustees Melanie Bowen and Richard Welling voted for the appointment while Ron Sims voted against.
Sims said Police Chief Mark Hummer, who is also an administrative assistant to the trustees, should have been temporarily appointed to the seat.
“We already have an administrator for economic development (Hummer),” Sims said after the meeting. “I just feel that he should have been involved in this.”
Hummer has a separate contract with the township for handling administrative matters, including economic development related issues and grants.
The trustees also approved the appointment of Matt Sapara, Director of Development for the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority, as the township’s other representative to the five-member board.
The port authority leases the Toledo-owned property at Metcalf Field where the JEDD is located.
Because regulations require a representative of employees of businesses in a JEDD to be on the board, and the port authority is presently the only entity with employees in the JEDD, Sapara will function as the employee representative, Hays said.
Existing business at and near Metcalf Field declined to be included in the JEDD.
Hays said Toledo officials are pushing to get the JEDD board organized so by-laws can be drafted. One of the board’s first goals will likely be to secure grants to fund infrastructure improvements at the JEDD site, which covers about 424 acres bounded by Drouillard, Moline-Martin, Lemoyne, and Ayers roads.
Bowen and Hays represented the township in the negotiations with Toledo officials to form the JEDD.
Toledo will also have two representatives on the board and a fifth will be chosen by the four board members.
Bowen said prior to the trustees voting that she’s had informal discussions with a few persons about serving on the JEDD board but there hasn’t been time to conduct actual interviews with interested candidates.
Chief Hummer Wednesday declined to comment on the vote by the trustees.
He said he was scheduled to meet Thursday with Steve Steel, a member of Toledo City Council’s economic development committee.
Under the 30-year JEDD agreement, the city and township will share income tax revenues from jobs created at the district, with the township receiving 60 percent and city receiving 40 percent. The income tax rate will be 2.25 percent.
Other provisions include:
•If an existing business from Toledo relocates to the district, the city will retain all of the income tax until it recovers the amount of tax it received before the company relocated.
• The city and township each agree to provide $15,000 to meet initial costs.
• The JEDD territory is zoned M-1 light industrial and can’t be annexed during the term of the agreement.