Newton Falls and Braceville are heading in the right direction by negotiating a Joint Economic Development District.
JEDDs are legal partnerships between two towns establishing rules for sharing the responsibilities and the wealth if and when development comes to adjacent property. The idea is to prevent the kind of border wars that have erupted over annexation, municipal services and taxes in places like the Girard-Youngstown development of V&M Star, or the Niles-Howland development of Kmart and Boulevard Centre.
Last month Newton Falls Mayor Lyle Waddell and Village Manager Jack Haney spoke during a Braceville trustees meeting requesting formal talks. The two towns share a border near the Ohio Turnpike that could be ripe for economic development.
A JEDD would prevent disputes over tax collection and municipal services and allow the two communities to speak as one voice to prospective developers. More communities should establish these relationships before, not after, developers announce plans.