EATON — Representatives from Harrison Township proposed a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) to the Preble County Board of Commissioners during their meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
According to the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA), the Ohio Community Reinvestment Area program is an economic development tool that provides property tax exemptions for property owners who renovate existing buildings or construct new ones.
The proposed CRA would be located within Harrison Township and encompass an area that includes Royal Canin and Cargill.
Susan Laux with Mote & Associates said that she and Harrison Township representatives, including Harrison Township Board of Trustees President Ric Prater, who was present at Wednesday’s meeting, said they felt this was a unique area due to the properties that exist.
“The other thing that’s very unique about this that you don’t see anywhere else in the county is the fact that it has water and sewer,” she said.
Laux explained that Cargill had previously expanded but was unable to take advantage of the CRA program, so learning from that, Harrison Township felt it would be a good idea to try and move forward now with the CRA.
Laux then presented the commissioners with a sample ordinance that will be part of an application to the ODSA, who will then make the decision whether or not to create the CRA.
According to the sample ordinance, the remodeling of residential units containing no more than two housing units with a remodeling cost of at least $2,500 would receive an exemption of 100 percent for five years, and the remodeling of units with more than two housing units with a remodeling cost of at least $5,000 would also receive an exemption of 100 percent for five years.
The exemption for construction of dwellings containing no more than two housing units is 50 percent for five years.
For the remodeling of existing commercial or industrial facilities of at least $5,000, the exemption is up to 100 percent for up to 12 years, though these numbers can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
The construction of new commercial or industrial facilities can be exempt up to 100 percent for up to 15 years, and these numbers can also be negotiated.
As this is a sample ordinance, these numbers could be subject to change.
Next steps for the CRA will include a housing survey of properties within the location, advertising of the ordinance in the paper, and then creating exhibits for the application.
“You sign the application after the advertisements are done, and then we’ll submit it to ODSA,” Laux said.
The commissioners as a whole approved moving forward, and Commissioner Denise Robertson said the board will contact Harrison Township soon to get things rolling once Prater has updated his board of trustees.
The Preble County Board of Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Preble County Courthouse. These meetings are open to the public.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles