Local

Nippersink School District 2, Richmond-Burton D-157 OK Spring Grove economic incentive concept

SPRING GROVE – Two school districts recently gave an initial nod of approval to a proposed economic incentive program being developed by the village of Spring Grove.

The program, similar to one implemented by the village of Richmond about four years ago, would offer a property tax abatement agreement for business/commercial or industrial developers who invest $200,000 or more in property, land or buildings, village documents show.

The program provides for property tax abatements in graduated declining levels from taxes levied from newly created assessed value.

The first year, the abatement level is 100 percent, then 66 percent in year two and 33 percent in year three, documents show.

The village’s hope is the agreement will involve six other taxing bodies if they choose to participate.

The school boards for both Nippersink School District 2 and Richmond-Burton Community High School District 157 recently approved the concept of the tax abatement program at their most recent board meetings.

Also asked to partake were the Nippersink Library District, the Spring Grove Fire Protection District, and Burton and Richmond townships, Spring Grove Village Clerk Sandi Rusher said.

“Our Village Board was just given all the documents,” Rusher said. “They haven’t approved anything yet, but just gave the go-ahead to reach out to the other governmental entities.”

In order to establish the program, the village still will have to enter into intergovernmental agreements with the participating taxing bodies, she added.

Superintendent Dan Oest said both boards approved the concept during the most recent meetings, and the votes both were unanimous.

District 157 board member Dave Thomas was absent during that District 157 meeting.

Nippersink library director Cynthia Cole said it’s a decision that will be up to the board, which will review and discuss the item at its February meeting.

Burton Township Clerk April Shetsky said the township board has seen the item, but has not yet made a decision.

Officials from the other solicited entities did not immediately return calls for comment.

As for the program in Richmond, Village President Peter Koenig said it has not garnered any new business.

“We mention it to anybody who’s expressing interest in moving here,” he said. “And it’s available to existing businesses who want to grow. ... When the right [developer] comes along, it’s a beneficial thing to have for them.”

Richmond’s program also involves Districts 2 and 157. Koenig said the Nippersink Library District opted not to participate in that one.

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