Centerville, Sugarcreek Twp. settle dispute over old Dille property

Questions about fire service for Cornerstone development have been resolved.

Centerville and Sugarcreek Twp.’s decade-long feud has come to a close after the two sidesreached an agreement on fire services and a long-term TIF (tax increment financing) agreement.

“We’re probably about 98 percent of the way home of having this long-standing litigious issue successfully resolved,” Centerville city manager Greg Horn said.

RELATEDCornerstone of Centerville lawsuit escalates

In 2006, the city of Centerville—which does not have its own fire department— completed a type-2 expedited annexation of land from Sugarcreek Twp., developing it into what is currently known as Cornerstone of Centerville. The annexation designation allows for the land to stay with both the township and the city.

After the annexation, Sugarcreek, questioned the legality of the move, which was ultimately ruled in favor of Centerville.

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Barry Tiffany, Sugarcreek’s township administrator, was in his position for just a week when the feud began, and said he and the Sugarcreek trustees were just happy to have the issue resolved.

“It’s a positive outcome for everybody,” Tiffany said. “It’s nice to be able to be done with it, to be working cooperatively together. We can do other things now, more exciting things for the community.”

RELATEDSugarcreek asks county for help with Cornerstone settlement

Under terms of the agreement, Centerville will pay Sugarcreek 54 percent of tax money collected from commercial development at Cornerstone, approximately $4.4 million over 30 years.

Bellbrook-Sugarcreek School District and Greene County Vocational School District had originally agreed to receive 60 percent of property taxes from Centerville, since the property is still part Sugarcreek. In the agreement, those school districts also agreed to take a five percent decrease in tax money collected if Centerville and Sugarcreek came to terms on fire and EMS services to Cornerstone.

Sugarcreek agreed to take no action reducing or eliminating fire/EMS services to any parcels located in both the city and township and it will rescind all resolutions with attempts of creating a new fire district.

After council agreed to the amended ordinance Monday, council members expressed just how difficult the process has been.

RELATED: New lawsuit sparks second Sugarcreek levy vote

“I know this was a thorn in everyone’s side for a long time,” mayor Brooks Compton said. When Compton asked council members about final remarks before moving to vote, council member John Palcher simply said “Hallelujah.”

The only item left for the completion of this saga is a possible motion from Greene County to approve the new, 55 percent revenue in property tax.

Horn, Centerville’s city manager since 1992, called the process “frustrating,” but said that “it’s good to put behind us.”

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