EAST PALESTINE — A draft proposal for a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) between the village and Unity Township is taking shape.
Village Manager Pete Monteleone gave council an update on Monday.
He said he met with Economic Development Director Tad Herold and is pleased with the help Herold and the department are providing on the proposal, which includes a mapped out area for the potential district.
The proposal will be presented to council for review at a future meeting, Monteleone said.
The village has been discussing a potential JEDD with the township for years, but the project never moved forward because some township residents were reportedly not in favor.
Councilmen DJ Yokley and Doug Simpson told council last month that after meeting with township officials they believe a district is a possibility at this point.
Monteleone also said on Monday that Municipal Attorney Dave Powers has drafted a proposed agreement, should council decide to move forward with the idea.
The agreement would need approval from both the village and the township in order to create the district.
In a JEDD the village would receive a portion of taxes levied without having to annex property, and the township could still collect property taxes and receive municipal water.
It would not involve police protection, however.
Village officials have said the district gives more leeway for utility services as opposed to annexation, which was attempted in recent years but was not successful. They believe that running water and sewer utilities up North Market Street near the township would attract more economic development.
“It’s a great opportunity … I am really excited,” Yokley said during the Monday meeting.
Monteleone also announced that Leslie Run has been repaired by the street crew, and that paving will begin on targeted village streets in early June. Repairs are also planned for North Market and Taggart Street.
“This year we are working at being methodical about our approach,” Monteleone said in his report to council.
He explained that instead of “chasing potholes all over town” the crew will fix potholes on a street by street basis to keep better track of what has been done.
Council members and Mayor Margo Zuch praised the street department for their work.
Monteleone said the crew is also working with the water department to see that a portion of Market Street across from village hall is repaired before the annual Street Fair.
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