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Published: Thursday, 11/13/2003

Swanton implements reinvestment program

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

SWANTON - The village will be able to offer tax abatements on land and buildings instead of just on equipment and inventory, thanks to a measure the council unanimously approved this week.

Swanton became one of the last Fulton County villages to implement a Community Reinvestment Area program that allows such abatements, village administrator Jon Gochenour said.

The change might affect one or two businesses a year that promise a sizeable number of employees or high pay, he predicted.

“It has to be something significant,” Mr. Gochenour said. “We aren t going to give out an abatement for a McDonald s or a Wendy s or a Taco Bell.”

To get an abatement, new or expanding businesses will need to present their case to the village s tax incentive review board and housing advisory board as well as village council, which has final ruling power.

Swanton school board also would have to sign off on any agreement, which would probably include a donation from the business to the school.

With Swanton s adoption of the program, Lyons becomes the only Fulton County village not to offer such an abatement, Mr. Gochenour said.

Lyons village administrator Vicki Neumeyer said the issue had not come up in Lyons in the two years she has held her position.

Swanton village council last month extended the deadline for its administrator to move to Swanton to Nov. 26, 2004.

Mr. Gochenour was hired in February with the agreement that he would move from his West Toledo home to Swanton within six months.

But he was hired on a six-month probation and council later said that it would have been inappropriate to require Mr. Gochenour to move before he was hired on a permanent basis.

Last month s vote was 5-0; council president Bob Gill was absent.



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