Newton Falls begins reinvestment area
By BOB COUPLAND
NEWTON FALLS — Village council has established a community reinvestment area that will allow for businesses to receive tax abatements and residential properties to get housing rehab funds.
First Ward Councilman Zachary Svette said at Monday’s meeting the CRA would allow for companies and residential property owners to apply for tax reductions for remodeling orrebuilding a structure.
He said such areas encourage new construction of commercial, industrial or residential properties.
“You want to have community reinvestment areas in your community because you want to encourage investments. What is unique about this is every square inch of Newton Falls will be classified as a community reinvestment area,” said David Lynch, village manager.
Last month, council approved Youngstown State University conducting an Ohio Revised Code-required housing survey in order for the village to create a CRA. A public hearing was held on the matter Monday with no comments. A motion was passed establishing the boundaries of a CRA.
The Ohio Community Reinvestment Area program is a state tax incentive program. Within a CRA, a housing officer will administer the program, and a community reinvestment housing council will incentivize construction and rehabilitation.
Lynch has said the village already has an agreement with YSU’s Office of External Relations, Government Affairs and Economic Development to receive assistance for economic and community development projects.
The survey costs already are covered in the agreement previously entered with YSU at $30,000, which includes grant-writing services and economic development assistance.
Svette said other communities such as Liberty have community reinvestment areas that are used for development by businesses that can receive tax abatements. He said the area also will help with receiving grant funding for nearby residences to get housing rehabilitation.
In other business, the board will be seeking funds from property owners for lawns the village cut this year for properties where lawns were not being maintained. Lynch said this is done annually, with the grass cutting bill totaling $19,000 this year.
He said the property owners would have 30 days from receiving a notice of the bill to make payment or the property address is sent to the Trumbull County Auditor’s Office to have an assessment placed on their property tax.
Fiscal Officer Anna Musson said they usually are lucky to collect 65 percent of the total amount.
Lynch said the properties will not be able to transfer if they don’t pay.
“The village needs to look at ways to recoup the money for cutting the grass,” said 3rd Ward Councilman Lyle Waddell,