Springboro Mayor John Agenbroad and Ed Wade, long-time president of the Clearcreek Twp. trustees, have been the primary architects of agreements dating back to 1989 that limit annexation, share property tax, and divide the costs of fire, emergency and other services in the community.
On Monday, the township trustees are expected to approve the latest deal — called a “coterminous agreement” — that sets aside $500,000 of property tax, otherwise going to the township, for a new city park and continuing the partnership for another 20 years.
“It’s nice to have that kind of a relationship in your backyard,” Agenbroad said last week. “I would hope the trustees would pass it on Monday. I can’t speak for them.”
The agreement determines how much of nearly $1.2 million a year in property tax goes to the city’s general fund, rather than to cover township expenses.
Last week, City Manager Chris Pozzuto clarified the sharing of what’s called inside millage, 10 mills in property tax assessed countywide without voter approval to cover the cost of government services.
Property in the city generates about 44 percent of the inside millage in the township, about $512,000.
Under the current “coterminous agreement,” Springboro receives 25 percent - around $128,000 a year, depending on changes in property value.
The new deal would split that money in half, adding roughly $256,00 a year to the city, Pozzuto said.
The agreements also prevent Springboro from breaking off and forming its own fire department, rather than sharing in use of Clearcreek fire prevention and emergency medical services, funded through a separate levy.
The city also will refrain from annexing township land without consent of the trustees.
“We won’t even enter discussions unless it’s been blessed by the township,” Agenbroad said.
Agenbroad said the agreements underlying the partnership crossing governmental boundaries began in response to disputes also involving the local chamber of commerce and Springboro school district.
“We had turf wars,” Agenbroad said. “Now we all get along.”
Agenbroad said he turned to Wade, who acted as an intermediary between the city council and township trustees.
“I’m talking to council. He’s talking to the trustees,” Agenbroad said. “In my opinion, it’s a fair agreement.”
The current deal, which otherwise expires in 2021, reduced the city’s share of the inside millage in the latter years of the agreement, in anticipation of the township beginning to operate and maintain new parks, Agenbroad said.
Since the township has not moved forward on new parks, Agenbroad said the city deserved the larger share contemplated in the terms up for a vote by the trustees Monday - and later by the city council.
The city and township would both be recognized as supporters of Kacie Jane Park, featuring a splash pad, as part of the new deal setting aside $500,000 of the township share for this project.
Agenbroad said the agreement enabled local leaders to take a broader perspective on issues also impacting the business community or schools.
“I always look at Springboro and the township as one community,” he said. “We all live here.”
While the terms cover 10 years, Agenbroad said the agreement is designed to result in renegotiation extending it to two decades.
In February, the trustees delayed voting on the proposed new deal to give Trustee Steve Muterspaw 60 days to win better terms for the township.
Earlier this month, Wade, Muterspaw and Trustee Jason Gabbard adjourned into executive session, rather than renewing public discussion of the deal. It was unclear if the coterminous agreement was discussed behind closed doors.
Afterward, Muterspaw confirmed he had been unable to get a better deal and anticipated a vote on the latest agreement worked out by Agenbroad, Wade and staff during a trustee meeting that wil begin at 9 a.m. Monday. Muterspaw did not indicate he was convinced the new deal was the way to go.
“There’s a whole lot of things that can be variables for the next 10 years,” he said.
Last Thursday, Agenbroad advised council of the status of the deal and indicated he would be recommending passage of a resolution in support of it at a future meeting.
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