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Published: Thursday, 11/13/2003

Decision stalls on economic position

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A plan for one person to lead economic development in Sylvania and Sylvania Township has slowed, but it hasn t been derailed.

Gary Madrzykowski, president of the Sylvania Community Improvement Corporation, said both governments are still looking at the proposal, but a decision on whether the position will be created may have to wait until newly elected officials are seated.

The long-time secretary of the CIC, Herb Hoehing, was slated to leave that post at the first of the year, but Mr. Madrzykowski has said Mr. Hoehing has agreed to stay on for a while longer.

Most city and township officials have agreed that the concept has merit, but also note that problems may arise at the border if a company is interested in locating in the region, but the two governments clash over a location.

Because the person holding the position will be employed by the CIC, it is hoped the political tightrope between the two entities will be a little less treacherous, but political jealousies could undercut the attempt to work together.

John Borell, Jr., elected to Sylvania City Council last week, said he thinks the possible benefits outweigh any downside.

Nearly anything that can foster discussion and cooperation between the two entities is worth pursuing, Mr. Borell said.

Doug Haynam, also elected to the council last week, agreed, but noted that the needs of the two communities are diverse to a certain degree.

Mr. Haynam pointed toward the now-vacant Foodtown store at Sylvania Avenue and McCord Road as an example of the redevelopment Sylvania, “as a mature suburb, needs in some areas.

The township, he added, is more often looking for new growth on undeveloped property.

Carol Contrata, who was elected a township trustee last week, said she thinks “that anytime we can work together with the city, it is worth pursuing.

Establishing a full-time position is estimated to cost about $100,000 and the city and township will be expected to pay the brunt of that expense.

Mr. Madrzykowksi acknowledged that the city and township sometimes have competing interests, but said they shouldn t be given the level of priority that damages the region.

Fights between the two can only discourage desirable developments from locating in either the city or the township and both entities are harmed in the long run, he said.

Both governments share a fire department, school district, recreation district, senior center, “and even buy road salt together, Mr. Madrzykowski said, adding that differences should be set aside for both to benefit from shared economic development.



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