Seneca Drive TIF Program moves forward in Wauseon

By Krista Anderson - [email protected]

Monday night at the city council meeting an ordinance was created authorizing the Seneca Drive Tax Incentive District within the city of Wauseon. According to Matt Gilroy, Executive Director of the Fulton County Economic Development Corporation, there are a couple of different reasons that this tax incentive is so important to the community.

One of the reasons is the need for new housing in Fulton County. “We recognize there is a shortage of residential properties on the market in our area,” said Gilroy.

This problem goes hand in hand with the shortage of needed workers also in the community. “We need workers and workers need to be able to live somewhere,” he explained.

Another reason for the importance of the tax incentive is to draw developers and builders into Fulton County. “We live in an area that developers are not drawn to because of the lack of return on their investment,” said Gilroy.

The tax incentive motivates developers and builders with a relief in funding the infrastructure improvements. Gilroy reiterated, “It also enables the developer to develop a volume of lots at a substantially lower cost.”

The Seneca Drive housing project will provide 19 lots. These lots will be sold by the property owner and developer, Ben Gleckler, in the fall of 2022. The TIF program will start when the infrastructure improvements are completed and will continue throughout the set 10 year term.

The TIF program works like this: The homeowner would pay property taxes to the Treasurer of Fulton County like they normally would. The money would then be set aside at a rate of 75% into the TIF fund and 25% to property taxes. The money in the TIF fund would then go to pay the debt incurred on the infrastructure improvements that were made before the lot became available for sale.

Gilroy continued, “The homeowner will not be seeing a benefit from the tax abatement but will see the benefits of things like roads and water.” The infrastructure improvements also include curbs, sidewalks, storm sewers, and sanitation.

The Seneca Drive Tax Incentive ordinance will have two more readings during the next couple of city council meetings for final approval.

Other business brought before the council was a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Ohio State Attorney General for collection of delinquent taxes. According to Finance Director, Jamie GiGuere, itt is a proposed 6 month contract and can be canceled at any time.

This resolution was voted on and passed.

The department heads were called upon for a summary of events since they had last met. Fire Chief Rick Sluder shared that they are up and running at Central Station with a new assistant, Hannah Kreitzer, starting Monday.

Director of Public Service Keith Torbet reported there were two water main breaks on Fulton Street which caused some potholes and road issues. He explained they are working hard to get these issues fixed and thanked everyone for their help.

Jamie Giguere, Finance Director, reported that income tax collection is up 13% from January 2021 to January 2022. She also said that they have started using Invoice Cloud and it is going well.

The only other new business was Mayor Kathy Huner’s motion to assign newly appointed Councilman, Brandon Tijerina, to the Community Reinvestment Housing Council. The motion was approved and accepted.

By Krista Anderson

[email protected]