Northwood looks at creating community improvement corporation

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Northwood is considering creating a Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) as a tool for economic development.
        At a recent council meeting, Councilman Jim Barton, chairman of the Economic Development Committee, said there was discussion in the committee regarding the formation of a CIC.
        A CIC is a mechanism to help promote the social and economic well being of the community, and as a stand-alone entity that could be used to promote economic development, hold property and finance projects.
        “It’s under discussion right now,” Glenn Grisdale, an economic consultant for Northwood, said last week.
Wood County
        A CIC is empowered under the Ohio Revised Code, according to Grisdale.
        “There are counties that have them. Wood County has a community improvement corporation. It can help with the civic, social and economic development aspects of a community. One of the primary purposes of a CIC is that it can hold property, leverage loans, and actually be used in conjunction with a city, village or county. It helps leverage additional resources for projects.”
        Communities across Ohio created CICs in the 1950s, according to Grisdale.
        “They helped promote economic development in their communities. They promoted different sorts of civic projects and initiatives. If they didn’t hold property, they had to meet once per year. If they didn’t have the right people on the board, a lot of the CICs were phased out. Some of them are still used for economic development purposes.”
Revolving loan
        The Wood County CIC is used to promote a variety of projects, he said.
        “But it works in conjunction with the Wood County Economic Development Commission. The CIC pretty much is the holder and administrator of the county’s revolving loan fund. Those funds help promote economic development by lending money to businesses. That would be one of the primary reasons to have a CIC in Northwood. We would be able to use it to leverage additional resources from the state of Ohio, one of which would be generating and developing a revolving loan fund. The City of Perrysburg has a CIC. Its central purpose is simply as an advisor and administrator of its revolving loan fund.”
State funds
        Funding of a CIC comes from a state economic development program, said Grisdale.
        “You can borrow money for projects that create and retain jobs. You can borrow money for site developments dependent upon jobs that are created with it. It’s usually in conjunction with a business, with gap financing. The business would borrow it, and instead of paying the state back, they would pay the revolving loan fund back at the CIC. Then the Northwood CIC would revolve that money back into the community for any business that has a financing gap,” said Grisdale.
        City Administrator Bob Anderson said a CIC would also allow the city to clean up dilapidated properties.
        “We have some vacant buildings along Woodville Road in need of some capital to fix up. We could acquire that property and attack some blight,” he said.
        The city would not control the CIC, but be represented on the board, he added.
        “It would be independently controlled by its board,” he said.
        Grisdale believes the city will eventually create a CIC, but it will take some time.
        “We have to phase this in. People forget about it if you create it all at once. It’s like Thanksgiving dinner and a five course meal. You want to slowly time the meals as they come out of the kitchen for the best experience,” said Grisdale. “And the same is true for these type of programs.”



The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association