Eastwood nails down abatement payment
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor
Thursday, 20 June 2013 10:03
PEMBERVILLE - A planned Home Depot distribution center in Wood County will create an influx of cash for the Eastwood School District.
The school board this morning approved a tax abatement agreement with the company in which Eastwood will receive $675,000 per year beginning in 2015 and continuing through January 2029. The amount received over that time will be $10,125,000. Home Depot then will begin to pay property taxes in 2031.
If all goes as planned, construction on the distribution center on 157 acres near the southwest corner of U.S. 20 and Pemberville Road may begin in July or August.
The proposed facility will be 1.63 million square feet - larger than the Chrysler machining plant in Perrysburg Township.
The company is asking local and county officials for a 100-percent abatement of real property taxes for 15 years.
"It's almost like getting a winning lottery ticket. It's marvelous," said school board President Sherri Sheffler after the meeting.
"We could not be happier. We just need to get input, put things in place and spend the money as wisely as we can," she added.
The board will use the money for capital expenses and permanent improvements and has the option to borrow against the proceeds should it chose to use it for a larger project.
The agreement is similar to that with Calphalon, which has built a large warehouse at Ohio 25 near its intersection with Ohio 582. Money from both agreements will go into the district's permanent improvement fund.
The district already has a 2-mill permanent improvement levy which collects $265,000 annually. That levy expires this year.
"This agreement is a real blessing for the taxpayers and residents of the district," Superintendent Brent Welker said in a community e-mail sent to residents Wednesday. "Not only will this create jobs for our area that are desperately needed, but it will provide for new revenues for the district."
The board's Business Advisory Council and Facilities Task Force will meet Wednesday to discuss options as well as an approach to developing a consensus for the use of these funds. The meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the board office. It is open to the public.
The purpose is to "decide the best way to use this money for the district," Sheffler said.
Once the committees narrow down options, they'll take them to the community, she added.
"We need to have a plan in place for the wide usage of this money," she stated,
Welker indicated he expects to schedule a community forum sometime in late August or early September to get public input on how to best use the money.