George Davis

GREEN: City and school board officials are trying to reach an agreement over an alleged $1 million shortfall in payments to the district in lieu of taxes and another similar deal worth $1.1 million for the schools.

A meeting is scheduled for Oct. 11 between the district’s and city’s administrations and their legal counsels over the issues, according to the district’s legal counsel, Mary Jo Shannon Slick. Earlier this month, Green City Council approved a 100 percent tax abatement for 15 years designated to bring 100 jobs and a new $6.2 million facility to the city.

The city’s deal with Seco Machine Inc. calls for the company and developer Lawr Realty Inc. to pay the district $1.1 million during the 15-year period the company wouldn’t be paying property taxes.

However, the school board has yet to OK the agreement

Seco, currently located in Jackson Township, is a urethane molding manufacturer specializing in custom-molded urethane products for industrial and commercial businesses.

The firm would be located on the southeast corner of Greensberg and Mayfair roads on a 20-acre cornfield that now yields between $600 to $900 a year in taxes to the school district.

The proposal comes as school officials are trying to determine whether the city still owes the district money for other similar tax abatement deals.

Slick, the district’s legal counsel, told the school board at its meeting on Tuesday that former Mayor Dick Norton indicated before leaving office that the city owed the schools just over $1 million for not paying what should have been paid from 2003 to 2006.

The current administration has denied that allegation, she said.

“The board believes both issues should be resolved together,” she said, referring to the dispute over the previous tax agreement and the proposed new deal.

“This board has always wanted a positive working relationship with the city,” Slick said. “And we will continue to achieve a resolution to both these issues that is fair and equitable.”

During a separate Green City Council meeting the same evening, Councilman Chris Humphrey said it is the city’s “responsibility to make sure that that wrong would be righted” if the district was shorted money.

However, if the deal with Seco is being held up because of an unrelated issue, “to me, that’s a problem,” he said. “We need to get to the bottom of whether or not the school is owed that. And I believe that issue is currently being studied.”

He added that the school district could get more than $50,000 annually if the property is developed, compared to nothing or $700 annually if no economic development takes place.

Councilman Stephen Dyer urged the city administration “to reach out to the schools and be very proactive in ensuring that the kids of this community have the resources they need to achieve in the classroom.”