Commissioners issue statement about Cornerstone

By William Duffield bduffield@civitasmedia.com

January 30, 2014

XENIA — The Greene County Commissioners have issued a release in answer to questions raised by the writer of an opinion piece in this newspaper about the county’s involvement in the Cornerstone development. That development is bringing a Costco and other stores to the former Dille property located at the intersection of Feedwire Road and Wilmington Pike.

In a release dated Jan. 28, the commissioners state that the commission met with representatives of Oberer Corporation on Oct. 31, 2013. Oberer Corporation had requested a work session with the commissioners to discuss the Cornerstone development at the Dille property at the intersection of Feedwire Road and Wilmington Pike in Sugarcreek Township. The commissioners state that there has only been one meeting with the developer.

One commissioner voiced his displeasure with an opinion piece by David Buccalo that ran in the Xenia Gazette (http://bit.ly/1n1eo3M). Shortly before the release of this document, Commissioner Tom Koogler was asked in an email about another project in which the city is looking to gain control of parking areas for building a new city building.

Koogler responded that the opinion column from Buccalo was filled with “misinformation” and said “no comment” to the parking lot question.

When given the opportunity to respond to Buccalo’s opinion piece, Koogler said in email, “Regarding the Cornerstone project, ‘that ship has sailed’.”

According to the commissioners, the developer indicated there was a need for additional funding to cover infrastructure costs with the project.

“They proposed a concept which would share the new sales tax dollars that would be generated by the new businesses located in the Cornerstone development to cover the additional cost of the infrastructure,” the release states.

The commissioners’ release continues to state the details of the proposal brought forth by Oberer indicated the Cornerstone development would received the first 55 percent of the sales tax collected. This would not exceed $375,000 per year for 10 years.

According to the commission’s release, the developer was advised that they do not have the authority to share any part of sales tax with any entity.

The property in Sugarcreek Township was annexed by the City of Centerville several years ago after a filing by the Dille family. The case has gone through the courts, as the township has been appealing the annexation. The courts have found the annexation to be legal, meaning that the property is part of Centerville, despite remaining in Greene County.

The commissioners state that Oberer Development has not made a formal request for financial assistance for the project, and Greene County has not made plans to provide any financial assistance to the project.

“The county did not have any discretion in the annexation of the property into the city (of Centerville) as the type of annexation filed by the Dille family follows a process dictated by the ORC (Ohio Revised Code),” the commissioners state in their release.

“It is our understanding that the property is still owned by the Dille family, who has a contract with Oberer Development to develop it. The city (Centerville) controls the zoning of the property.”

In the minutes of the Oct. 29, 2013 Centerville Planning Commission meeting, George Oberer did report to that body that he was “working with Greene County for the sanitary sewer line to connect from the southeast corner of the property.”

William Duffield can be reached at 937-372-4444 ext. 133 or on Twitter @WilliamDuffield.