Liberty and Girard explore plan to share land for economic development

Officials from both municipalities met last week to discuss a potential joint economic development district (JEDD)

GIRARD, Ohio (WYTV) – Liberty Township and Girard are considering teaming up to create a commercial development district.

Officials from both municipalities met last week with the Trumbull County Planning Commission to discuss a potential joint economic development district (JEDD). The partnership would create an agreement where the township and the city could work together to develop land for commercial or industrial purposes.

The group is looking at a stretch of property from Belmont Avenue to Route 711 and from Trumbull Avenue to Gypsy Lane. Girard Mayor James Melfi said another area near Tibbetts Wick Road and Interstate 11, where water lines are already available, is also a consideration.

“The end goal is to create jobs, first and foremost. The JEDD would create jobs, and we understand that is the most important thing we could do here,” Melfi said. “Secondly, obviously, we increase income tax.”

Council members will have to approve any agreement after an economic plan is established and before creating the JEDD.

“All we are doing is looking to find out if there are areas of common ground and generally you go where the freeways are,” said Pat Ungaro, Liberty Township administrator.

A JEDD contract covers issues such as the provision of city services, which entity will provide police, fire and road services; zoning, land use and planning issues; and agreements as to tax abatements and how to divide the JEDD income tax.

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