Bricker & Eckler LLP



Jul 10, 2014

The Andersons is looking for new, larger space for company headquarters

The Andersons is shopping for a new location for its headquarters, as a result of steady growth over the past several years that the company expects to continue, The Toledo Blade reports. The company has outgrown the 103,000-square-foot building it has occupied in Maumee’s Arrowhead Industrial Park for 34 years. A spokesperson for The Andersons, Debra Clow, said in The Blade article, “We looked at … existing structures, vacant land, and developed land. ... We’re confident we will be building a new structure.” Clow said the new headquarters “would need to accommodate about 500 people at the outset … and then more personnel later as The Andersons continues to expand and grow,” according to the article. For more, read the full article.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Jul 09, 2014

Don’t Miss the OEDA Mid-Year Briefing Featuring JobsOhio and ODSA

The Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA), JobsOhio and its Regional Network Partners, the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) and the Mid-Ohio Development Exchange (MODE) are hosting the Mid-Year Briefing for economic development professionals and elected officials on Thursday, July 17 at the Marriott Columbus Northwest in Dublin, Ohio.

The agenda features updates about JobsOhio and ODSA programs, including topics such as strategies for job growth and increasing investment in local communities, and Bricker & Eckler LLP will present an update on economic development legislative activity. The event is open to OEDA members and nonmembers.
For more information or to register, click here.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA   |  Permalink


Jul 02, 2014

Idea of four-county port authority dates back 20 years

Mahoning County Commissioner David Ditzler recently proposed that Mahoning, Columbiana, Trumbull and Ashtabula counties join together to form one regional port authority (see our June 24, 2014 blog post for more information). According to a June 29 article, the regional port authority was proposed by then-Governor George Voinovich 20 years ago. The article reports that “Ditzler broached the idea during a meeting of the commissioners from Mahoning and Trumbull counties” at which the future of the Western Reserve Port Authority (WRPA) was discussed. The authority has recently lost three members and its executive director. A June 27 article reports that “[t]he five remaining members of the Western Reserve Port Authority board of directors voted in a special Friday afternoon meeting to hire a Pittsburgh law firm to represent them in the event that county commissioners follow through with threats to dissolve the board.” For more, read the full June 29 and June 27 articles.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 30, 2014

State of Ohio and small towns loan millions, but tech jobs did not materialize

A Cleveland businessman, C. David Snyder, told officials in several northern Ohio communities that his company, Ruralogic, was poised to generate new jobs and economic growth throughout the region. In exchange, the state of Ohio and the municipalities of Archbold, Bryan and Napoleon granted Ruralogic more than $1.2 million in loans and grants. The promised jobs and growth, however, never materialized. The Toledo Blade reports that “these issues follow a pattern of financial irregularities at Mr. Snyder’s companies, which either acquired or worked on projects that received more than $28 million in government financing during a five-year period.” The article states that most of the money has not been repaid and that the businesses involved “face allegations that they misappropriated taxpayer or corporate funds.” For more, read the full story.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Financial Incentives  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 27, 2014

Two possible development plans recently proposed for Routes 36/37 interchange

The interchange of Routes 36 and 37 in Delaware County is the focus of two future development proposals, The Columbus Dispatch reports. One development group, including Nationwide Realty Investors and the Weiler Cos., has submitted a proposal to Berkshire Township for the 1,700-acre North Star development, which would include “housing and shopping northeast of I-71 and Rts. 36/37,” and would extend “the Rts. 36/37 exit ramp northward by about a quarter-mile,” the article said. The proposed project includes the possibility that “a joint economic-development agreement could be created for additional funding and a community authority established to levy fees on future property owners.” Another group is expected to propose the NorthGate Centre, also in Berkshire Township, southeast of Routes 36/37. “Studies have shown that a southern exit would divert more than five times as much traffic from Rts. 36/37 as one to the north,” according to Sunbury Administrator David Martin. For more, read the full story.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 24, 2014

Officials say four-county regional port authority proposal worth considering

David Ditzler, chairman of the Mahoning County commissioners, recently proposed the idea of a four-county port authority and local officials say the proposal is worth considering, The Vindicator reports. “Under Ditzler’s proposal, Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties would unify to form a regional port authority,” the article said. The proposal has support from community leaders, including Thomas Humphries, president of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber, who noted that the counties have different types of ports but are all connected by Route 11. For more, read the full story.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 19, 2014

1,400-acre Warren County development close to approval

The Otterbein retirement community’s Union Village, a multigenerational community with up to 4,500 homes, is “close to winning approval in Warren County,” the Dayton Daily News reports. Plans for the project include hospital facilities, offices and an arts center, which will be “built in phases and supported through taxation by a community authority that will manage park systems, roads, snow removal and stormwater management, limiting pressure for township services,” the article said. For more, read the full story.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 16, 2014

Worthington council votes to allow closed-door economic development discussions

ThisWeek Community News reports that Worthington City Council recently approved legislation permitting the council to meet privately to discuss economic development assistance applications. “The city will benefit because companies considering relocation typically do not want to share preliminary ideas regarding relocation, expansion or contracts with competitors or employees,” explained Pam Fox, Worthington law director. The amendment was made possible by Ohio House Bill 59, passed last fall, which expands the circumstances under which local governing bodies may meet in private to include such economic development discussions. The council must indicate during public session which issue or issues it will discuss in private before moving to executive session. For more, read the full story.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 13, 2014

S&P upgrades Northwest Ohio Bond Fund rating to “A-”

For the first time in its 26-year existence, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority’s Northwest Ohio Bond Fund has received an “A-” investment grade rating with a stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s (S&P), up from its previous “BBB+” rating. According to a press release from the port authority, key factors contributing to the upgrade include “a zero percent default rate to bondholders” and “a current reserve-to-loan ratio of 50 percent.” The release also states that the port authority “has developed a national reputation for innovative business financing, assisting more than 340 economic development projects representing a total investment of more than $1.8 billion while helping to create and retain more than 18,500 jobs.” For more, read the full release.

Posted by C. Bell in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 12, 2014

Business sues to take Etna-Reynoldsburg tax district vote off ballot

The Ascena Retail Group, based in Licking County, recently filed a lawsuit to prevent an August vote on a proposed joint economic development zone (JEDZ) between Etna Township and the City of Reynoldsburg. Ascena’s lawsuit claims that “members of both the Reynoldsburg City Council and Etna Township’s trustees … met either privately or in executive session in violation of Ohio’s open-meetings law before their May 5 approval of the JEDZ contract,” according to The Columbus Dispatch. The Etna Township JEDZ proposal would “impose a 1.5 percent income tax on anyone working in the zone — 58 parcels covering about 1,500 acres — and a 1.5 percent tax on the net profits of any business operating in the zone over the next 99 years,” the article said. For more, read the full story.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 10, 2014

Ohio Supreme Court Rules Plaintiffs in JobsOhio Suit Lack Standing

In a major legal victory for Gov. John Kasich’s signature economic development initiative, the Supreme Court of Ohio today rejected a legal challenge to legislation providing for the creation and operation of JobsOhio. The Court held that plaintiffs, Inc., Michael J. Skindell and Dennis E. Murray, Jr. lacked standing to raise their claims. Standing is a threshold requirement for legal action. Without any direct personal stake in the outcome of the case, the Court explained, the plaintiffs did not have standing and could not proceed. The Court did not reach the merits of the plaintiffs’ claims. Justice Sharon Kennedy concurred in the majority opinion, and Justices Paul Pfeifer and William O’Neill authored dissenting opinions. For more, see the Slip Opinion No. 2014-Ohio-2382.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  JobsOhio/ODSA  Legal Developments  State Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 09, 2014

Ohio enacts new limitations on joint economic development zones

On June 5, 2014, Gov. John Kasich signed Sub. H.B. 289 into law. The bill imposes sweeping limitations on the use of joint economic development zones (JEDZs) and establishes municipal utility districts for economic development purposes. The authority to create a new JEDZ, or to make a substantial amendment to an existing JEDZ agreement, expires January 1, 2015. The bill was passed as an emergency measure and takes effect immediately. For more, click here.

Posted by M. Engel in  Legal Developments  State Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 06, 2014

Leaders discuss the state of economic development in Ross County

Several company officials recently spoke about the state of economic development in southern Ohio during the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio's INsider OUTlook breakfast, according to the Chillicothe Gazette. A Kenworth representative said its Chillicothe plant has "2,000 employees and an annual payroll of $150 million." An official with the printing company Glatfelter, meanwhile, detailed the impact of the retiring baby boomer generation, noting that its Chillicothe plant "employs 1,270 people and has an annual payroll of $100 million," the article said. Ohio University's Chillicothe branch campus has also been especially significant for the area. With 2,300 students, the university was estimated to have contributed $36 million to Chillicothe and Ross County last year, the article said. For more, read the full story.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Professional Associations  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 05, 2014

Bricker & Eckler’s Chris Schmenk to speak at Midstream Ohio 2014 seminar

Chris Schmenk, of counsel to Bricker & Eckler’s Public Finance group, will speak on June 11 at the Utica Capital Series: Midstream Ohio 2014 seminar in North Canton. Her presentation will focus on the investments being made in Ohio’s shale play as found in the Shale Economic Development Overview published by Bricker & Eckler earlier this spring. The former director of the Ohio Development Services Agency will also discuss opportunities for companies wanting to support shale oil and gas midstream businesses.
Representatives of Caiman Energy (of the Blue Racer partnership), Access Midstream, M3 Momentum and EnLink will also make presentations at the seminar. Those companies are major players in the buildout of midstream infrastructure in the Utica shale play.
Click here for more information about the seminar.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 04, 2014

Hilliard is working to establish three TIF districts

Hilliard leaders are taking steps to create three new tax increment financing (TIF) districts by late June, ThisWeek Community News reports. The TIFs would involve the One Mill Run, Sunbelt Rentals and Verizon Wireless projects. The One Mill Run and Verizon TIFs would be "non-school" TIFs that would not affect the property tax revenue received by the school district. If approved, Sunbelt would receive a "15-year, 50 percent property-tax abatement, which is worth [an estimated] $300,638," the article said. For more, read the full story.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink


Jun 02, 2014

H.B. 524 would require state to establish a tourism plan for Lake Erie

Ohio Reps. Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) and Matt Lundy (D-Elyria) recently introduced H.B. 524, which would require the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) to create a Lakefront Ohio Economic Development and Tourism Plan. The plan would engage regional institutions of higher education within the counties bordering Lake Erie to jointly develop a proposal for land use throughout the region. The bill has been assigned to the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. For more, read the full text of H.B. 524.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates  State Updates   |  Permalink


May 30, 2014

Infighting prompts county commissioners in Trumbull and Mahoning to seek legal advice on reorganizing the Western Reserve Port Authority

Infighting among the members of the Western Reserve Port Authority has prompted commissioners from both Mahoning County and Trumbull County to ask their respective prosecutors' offices whether they can reorganize the port authority "to answer directly to the Mahoning and Trumbull commissioners instead of its own board; and whether the commissioners have the authority to remove a board member," The Vindicator reports. While port authority board member Rick Schiraldi cited only "business and personal commitments" in his April 25 resignation letter, commissioners from both counties feared that he was in reality "among port authority members who believe their personal and business reputations are being damaged by the 'dysfunctionality' of the board," the article said. For more, read the full story.

Posted by R. McCarthy in  Regional Updates   |  Permalink






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