Sugarcreek Twp. has asked Greene County commissioners for financial help to settle a legal battle that has spanned more than a decade over the Cornerstone of Centerville development.
In a Sept. 22 letter to county commissioners, the township says it would be able to resolve court cases with the city of Centerville and the Cornerstone developer by paying the city $542,130 — the amount the township has collected from its tax increment financing district.
“This is an expense that we cannot afford,” wrote Barry Tiffany, the township administrator, in the letter to county commissioners. “We are requesting your assistance in paying this amount to assist in settling this matter permanently.”
As part of the settlement agreement, the township will have to eliminate its TIFs in the city of Centerville and forfeit future TIF revenues which would total an estimated $1.5 million.
“In order for the improvements that are scheduled and necessary to Cornerstone development to be completed, Centerville must have their TIF in place, active and collecting all funds,” Tiffany wrote.
The city and township have been in a dispute over the area that includes Costco and sections of Wilmington Pike, Feedwire Road and Interstate 675.
The township estimates it has spent more than $600,000 on litigation related to the issue.
“These issues, if left unsettled, threatened to derail future development within the project boundaries to the detriment of all those that stand to benefit from Cornerstone’s success.”
In August, Centerville and Sugarcreek Twp. officials announced they reached a tentative agreement for fire and EMS services for the Cornerstone of Centerville development. As part of the preliminary agreement, township trustees withdrew its fire district levy from the November ballot.