Xenia creating Community Improvement Corporation to help with development projects

ajc.com

Credit: Chuck Hamlin

Credit: Chuck Hamlin

Xenia City Council recently approved the creation of a Community Improvement Corporation that would serve to encourage and facilitate economic, industrial and commercial development in the city.

“A CIC has a unique set of abilities and we think this will spur economic development,” said City Manager Brent Merriman.

Merriman said the corporation will help fix up blighted properties or aid properties that are currently underused. The Xenia CIC would also help with special events like First Fridays and play a role in establishing a downtown Main Street program.

The corporation would have the flexibility to do things that the city cannot do, Merriman said, like acquire and sell land and get financing for real estate.

“That brings some flexibility into the redevelopment process,” he said.

The county has a Community Improvement Corporation, Merriman said. The city is “not looking to preempt the county’s” Community Improvement Corporation, but work in partnership with it, he said.

ExploreXenia could create Community Improvement Corporation to help with economic development

Merriman said city staff recommends Xenia help the corporation with start-up funds from the city’s miscellaneous improvement fund. Merriman said this fund will not be taxpayer dollars, but cash flow from real estate that the city owns. He doesn’t yet know how much start-up capital the corporation will need.

The Community Improvement Corporation will be run by a board of directors. There will be seven members, including an appointed council member, the city manager or his designee, the finance director or his designee, and three non-city official or employee members who will be appointed to the board.

Council president Wesley Smith said Xenia Councilwoman Rebekah Dean sent him an email volunteering to be on the board.

Now that Xenia city council has approved the incorporation of the agency, the application will be sent to the Ohio Secretary of State to approve before the city finalizes the incorporation of the CIC, Merriman said.

In Other News