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Peninsula Council moving forward with passage of JEDD, income tax increase

11/14/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

Approved ballot items at the polls during the General Election Nov. 5 called for follow up by Peninsula Village Council during the Nov. 11 meeting.

With the passage of Issue No. 37 by Boston Township voters, the township and the village will create a joint economic development district (JEDD), allowing the township to collect payroll taxes from employees of businesses in the township’s Economic Activity District, of which Peninsula will receive a portion.

Since Peninsula is the “host” of the JEDD, explained Mayor Douglas Mayer, three members of Council will need to serve on its Board of Directors. As such, Mayer appointed Council members Brian Schall, Dan Schneider and Dee Holody to serve for the remainder of this year on the board. Fiscal Officer John Stiegel will serve as treasurer, said Mayer.

Also, Council held a first reading of an ordinance to increase the amount of income tax to be collected from 1 percent to 2 percent, stemming from the passage of Issue No. 29 by Peninsula voters, which passed by 54 percent of voters in its fourth appearance on the ballot. The tax increase will bring in an additional $180,000 per year to finance the general municipal operations of the village, according to village officials.

Peninsula residents now will get 100 percent credit for income taxes they pay to municipalities in which they work, meaning if the community where they work charges a 2 percent income tax, they owe nothing to the village in income tax, according to Stiegel.

Before the ballot issue passed, the credit was only 50 percent for 1 percent in income tax paid elsewhere, so now some village residents will no longer owe a 0.5 percent income tax to the village, he added.

Also at the meeting, Council approved amendments to a proposed contract for providing police protection to Boston Township.

A method for resolving disputes was added to the contract, said Councilman Doug Anderson, specifying that trustees appoint a liaison to meet with the chief of police to resolve issues. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached that way, township officials are to meet with the mayor. Then, if still unresolved, trustees are to meet with Council, unless finally, independent arbitration is necessary.

Boston Township has been contracting with the village for police protection for 12 years, Anderson noted. The renewal proposes keeping the same number of patrol hours as the current contract, consisting of 14 hours five days a week and 16 hours two days a week, according to village officials.

While normally the contract would have a 5 percent increase in its base price annually, the village has agreed to continue next year at the 2013 price, Anderson added.

Council voted unanimously to send the amended contract back to Boston Township officials for review.

In other business, Council approved a contract with Cuyahoga Valley National Park for foot patrol in the village’s core business district during special events and extended a contract with Village Solicitor Irv Sugerman to Jan. 31, 2014.

Also, Council heard from a pair of Copley residents who are proposing to open a wine bar on Main Street, pending approval from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Summit County Public Health (SCPH), with a request for the mayor to sign a liquor license transfer application so they can begin with opening the retail end of their business. After much discussion, which treaded on the subject of failing sewer systems among other businesses in the village and the potential of septic system approval by SCPH for the new business, Mayer, who is responsible for approving liquor permits in the village, said he would follow up with them later in the week.

Also, during a special meeting Nov. 7, Council approved two items related to the Service Department, including a truck repair and hiring a part-time, 24-hour-a-week employee, according to Stiegel.

Council’s next meeting is set for Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in the second-floor Council room of Peninsula Village Hall, located at the corner of state Route 303 and Akron-Peninsula Road.

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