Mount Vernon City Hall

MOUNT VERNON — City council members took the first step to extend water and sewer services to the southern part of the Buckeye Addition and Parrott Street Extension.

On Monday, they gave the okay for Safety-service Director Joel Daniels to contract with CT Consultants for engineering services for the water/wastewater project.

Structures on Parrott Street Extension all have city water, but not all are on city sewer. In the Buckeye Addition, from Harrison Avenue south to Cleveland Avenue, residents have city sewer, but not all have access to city water.

The project is part of the city's 2016 master plan. City Engineer Brian Ball said the timetable for extending the water and sewer lines was moved up because of inquiries from business owners. Additionally, based on recent trends, the area is moving out of the low- to moderate-income category and by the 2020 census will probably not qualify for grant money based on income.

The second step in the project is to apply for grant funding. The third step is for council to authorize Daniels to bid for and award a contract for construction.

Council also took the following actions:

  • Authorized the safety-service director to bid and contract for sludge removal for 2020-23
  • Approved appropriations and fund transfers
  • Postponed indefinitely legislation transferring $5,000 from the city's reserve fund as an additional payment for Area Development Foundation services due to the ADF withdrawing its request
  • Accepted the recommendations of the Tax Incentive Review Council regarding abatements: Continue the exemptions for the Woodward Development Corp., Ariel Corp., Owens Corning Insulating Systems, Replex Plastics, and Sanoh America; cancel the exemption for Jacobs Motorsports; and continue the three TIF (Tax Increment Financing Districts)
  • Postponed indefinitely legislation amending the city's process for collecting fines stemming from stormwater violations
  • Held an executive session to discuss pending or imminent litigation

Council heard from Douglas Lowe, attorney for Stoneworks Partners LLC, developer of The Village of Colonial Woods condominiums. Lowe gave a brief overview of the problems the developer has had with the city regarding zoning permits and stormwater issues.

The city also honored Mount Vernon Nazarene University with a proclamation for the recent accreditation of its engineering program.

Finance and Budget

In a Finance and Budget Committee meeting, council members discussed creating a Community Reinvestment Area that includes and surrounds the former middle school, 301 N. Mulberry St. The CRA would extend from Pleasant Street on the north to Sugar Street on the south, and from North Main Street on the east to Sandusky Street on the west.

Developer Joel Mazza is requesting the CRA as part of the agreement he is trying to work out with the city before he buys the parcel at 301 N. Mulberry St. If Mazza gets the CRA, he plans to demolish the old school and build a residential complex that includes apartments and townhomes.

The CRA is a tax incentive designed to encourage property owners to develop or substantially renovate their property. CRAs can be up to 15 years in length and offer up to 100 percent tax abatement on the value of the new development.

Council members agreed they would prefer a 10-year, tiered abatement schedule that starts with 100 percent the first year and lowers to 10 percent the final year. For example, if the CRA runs from 2020 to 2030 and a property owner makes renovations in 2021, the abatement would be 90 percent. Improvements or development in 2025 would qualify for a 50 percent tax reduction.

Councilman Matt Starr requested that the city consider extending the CRA to include the historic district.

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