Genoa: 230-acre site eyed for annexation

Lou Hebert

Special to The Press
Over the last decade, Northwest Ohio has seen a resurgence in economic investment, particularly in manufacturing and logistics. While much of this new growth is in Lucas and Wood counties, the Village of Genoa also wants to become a player for the new opportunities.
Village officials plan to annex more than 230 acres on the western edge of town along the south side of State Route 163.
The stated goal is the creation of a "State Route 163 Development Corridor" to attract new industry to the Genoa area and broaden the tax base.
Mayor Brent Huston says the town wants "be in the conversation when companies are looking for places to invest in Northwest Ohio."
The effort began in 2020 when then-mayor Thomas Bergman and the planning commission began the search for land to compete with neighboring communities that have seen significant economic growth in recent years, such as Amazon and First Solar in Wood County.
Bergman says Genoa needs to compete for these new investments to help defray the growing tax burden of the local school system.
"Everyone in the community is aware of the school district's financial challenges and utility cost increases,” he said. “If we don't make an effort to bring in the significant investments necessary to get us out of this situation, more emergency school levies are inevitable.”
According to Bergman, the taxes levied by the school district have resulted in the highest overall property tax rates in the county.
Bergman, now the village administrator, says Genoa plans to take a selective approach in attracting potential new industry and businesses to the corridor.
"Careful consideration is paramount,” Huston adds, "We don't want anyone to think that there will be numerous smokestacks or a stamping plant, that’s just not in the cards."
Genoa officials say consultants agree that the community’s proximity to the interstate highways would be attractive to potential businesses. The land to be annexed is currently being used for agriculture and is just five miles from the Ohio Turnpike exit with I-280.
“That checks the box for most of the leads we've seen,” the mayor said. He also notes the site has sewer and water lines across the street, and by completing the annexation, the engineering and other due diligence work items can proceed.


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