Friday, October 12, 2007


This worked out well for everyone. Hopefully we will see this sort of cooperation more often.

Press Release from the City of Cleveland

The Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association
News Release

City of Cleveland
City of Avon
Mayors & Managers Association

For Immediate Release
October 12, 2007

Cleveland- In what can be described as a giant step toward regional cooperation, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Cuyahoga County Commissioners President Tim Hagan, Jimmy Dimora and Peter Lawson Jones, Avon Mayor Jim Smith, and Bay Village Mayor Deborah Sutherland, President of the Cuyahoga County Mayors and Managers Association, announced a Joint Economic Development (“JEDZ”) Zone agreement on the Avon I-90 interchange proposal at today’s meeting of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA).

The agreement ends months of sometimes contentious debate over whether to build the interchange at Nagel Road and I-90 in the City of Avon, about two miles west of the Crocker Road interchange in Westlake.

Supporters of the interchange claimed that it would bring economic development to the region, while it would be built without using scarce State transportation funds. All funds for the interchange will come from the Jacobs Development firm and the City of Avon.

Critics of the interchange claimed that it would drain jobs and business away from the region’s older communities and would hasten urban sprawl. Today’s agreement addresses those concerns by proposing an income tax sharing plan in which Avon would return a portion of the income taxes collected from businesses that move into a designated zone around the new interchange from other communities along the I-90 corridor.

Communities that may choose to participate in this economic development agreement include Cleveland, Lakewood, Rocky River, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Westlake, and Bay Village in Cuyahoga County and, Sheffield, Sheffield Lake, Sheffield Township, North Ridgeville, Avon Lake, Lorain, Elyria, and Elyria Township in Lorain County.

Under terms of the proposed agreement, for any businesses with an annual gross payroll exceeding $750,000 that relocates from one of the participating cities, Avon would share half of the income tax with the affected city for five years, unless the property was refilled with another business. The overall economic development agreement would be in effect for the next 30 years.

Avon further agreed to place limits on its use of tax incentives to lure existing regional businesses to locate in the interchange zone. Real estate tax abatement would not exceed 75% and for no more than 10 years, and income tax abatements would be prohibited.

The Avon economic development zone covers nearly 800 acres of land in an area that stretches from the Cuyahoga County border on the east to a line approximately 500 feet east of Jaycox Road on the west, and from the border of Avon Lake on the north to I-90 on the south, plus an area south of I-90 on either side of Nagel Road.

Exempt from this agreement is the already-announced Cleveland Clinic healthcare center project and, specifically, the first 500 jobs at that center. The Clinic has stated that building this facility is not contingent on the interchange and that the facility represents an expansion of service and not relocation.

The proposal also calls on all parties to advocate for future state or federal funding for roadway improvements in the neighboring communities of Bay Village and Westlake, as well as in any other communities whose roads are affected by the new interchange.

At today’s NOACA meeting, the agency’s governing Board voted to approve the Avon interchange subject to confirmation of all terms by Avon’s City Council within 30 days. Councils in the designated cities along the I-90 corridor now need to approve the economic development agreement for each of those cites to realize the benefits of the tax sharing plan.