JEDD board lacks records policy, audit says

Larry Limpf

News Editor

An audit of the Lake Township-City of Toledo Join Economic Development District has found the JEDD’s board of directors doesn’t have a public records policy in place as required by state law.
The state auditor’s office released a basic audit report last week that also said the JEDD didn’t file its 2022 and 2021 annual reports until June 1, 2023 and April 13, 2022 respectively.
“Failure to file by the required date could result in penalties of $25 per day up to a maximum of $750,” the report says. “The JEDD should take the necessary steps to ensure the financial report is prepared completely in accordance with Auditor of State Bulletin 2015-007 and filed within the 60-day time frame.”
In addition, the JEDD was unable to provide information or evidence that board members have been appointed in accordance with the JEDD contract.
“Failing to appoint a board could result in improper or unauthorized activity,” the report says. “The township and city should appoint members to the board as required…or they should consider dissolving the JEDD if they feel it is no longer necessary.”
The audit report notes the contract states the board of directors is to include one member representing the city, one member representing the township, one member representing owners of businesses located in the district, one member representing the workers in the district, and one member selected by the other members.
Mark Hummer, township administrator/police chief, said he would check with city officials to take steps for having a records policy in place.
“It’s all easy enough to do,” he said. “But until somebody builds in the JEDD, there won’t be much in the way of public records. Nothing has been built in the JEDD yet. We’ve asked Toledo to have a meeting and they’ve agreed. So I’ll see where we’re at.”
Hummer said the township has received calls from businesses about property in the JEDD.
“There is some interest in it as well as other property in the township,” he said.
The JEDD was formed in 2009 and covers about 424 acres bounded by Drouillard, Moline-Martin, Lemoyne, and Ayers roads where Toledo Executive Airport is located.
The City of Toledo owns the airport and leases it to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
The township has a 30-year JEDD agreement with Toledo that covers the property owned by Toledo and calls for the township and city to share income tax revenues from jobs created in the district, with the township receiving 60 percent and the city receiving 40 percent. The income tax rate is 2.25 percent.
The JEDD territory is zoned M-1 light industrial and can’t be annexed during the term of the agreement.
Existing businesses at or near the airport declined to be included in the JEDD when it was formed.
A state audit report for the years 2020 and 2019 mirror some of the same findings in the report for 2021 and 2020.


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