The City has made good progress finalizing the agreements for a new Kent-Rootstown JEDD.
Rootstown is the third township that has chosen to partner with Kent in “joint economic development districts” otherwise known as JEDDs.
The State of Ohio created the concept of JEDDs to promote partnerships between cities and townships and to stem the tide (and animosity) of annexations.
It’s worked. JEDDs have become a great tool for cities and townships to use together to revitalize targeted corridors and generate new revenues.
Townships have limited opportunities to build their revenue base and the JEDDs have been a welcome relief — and that’s what led Rootstown to talk to Kent about a new JEDD.
Rootstown saw an opportunity to leverage the funds from the JEDD to finance a new Rootstown School complex. The idea makes a lot of sense on paper but they’re still shopping it around their community to make sure they have the support they need.
At this point, the City’s economic development director is working with the Rootstown Trustees to finalize the information materials on the prospective new Rootstown-Kent JEDD that they plan to use when they start knocking on doors to get businesses to sign up to pay taxes to the JEDD.
New taxes are never an easy sell but in this case with 75% of the JEDD revenues earmarked to pay for a new Rootstown School facility, they’re hoping the business community recognizes the long term value of the JEDD.
The Township has been careful about moving slowly towards a JEDD, and the possibility of the JEDD has been mentioned publicly for at least the last 2 years so hopefully the residents and impacted business have had time to slowly warm up to the idea.
The goal right now is to get signatures to start building the JEDD membership list. Once they have a critical mass of businesses and properties signed up, the City and Township will build the JEDD agreement around those initial properties.
Rootstown would be Kent’s 3rd JEDD, and I thought it might be helpful to share a snapshot comparison of the 3 JEDDs.