Monday, August 24, 2009

Dublin trying to lure fuel cell coalition

This Week Community News : Dublin trying to lure fuel cell coalition

City council approves economic development agreement with Columbus
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 4:16 PM
ThisWeek Staff Writer
The Dublin Entrepreneurial Center will soon have another occupant if Dublin City Council approves an economic development agreement with the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition.

Council heard the first reading of the agreement Monday night. According to a staff report, Cleveland-based OFCC is trying "to make Ohio the center of the emerging global fuel cell industry. É Fuel cells are clean and efficient in their use of energy and have a low carbon footprint."

Director of economic development Dana McDaniel told council "the OFCC is the largest state fuel cell company in the country."

A spot in the entrepreneurial center on Post Road would give the company "access to a collaborative environment and meeting space," McDaniel said.

"OFCC seeks to encourage federal funding that will leverage state resources in the development of fuel cell technology and the locating of commercial development, manufacturing assets and job creation in Ohio," according to its Web site,

The economic development agreement is a two-year location grant for $10,000 that will pay for an office in the entrepreneurial center. OFCC would keep its headquarters in Cleveland.

Mayor Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher called the agreement "another fabulous opportunity for us."

Council will hold a second reading of the economic development agreement at its Sept. 8 meeting; staff has recommended approval.

In other news, council unanimously approved an economic development agreement with Columbus and the resulting modifications to water and sewer contracts.

The agreement covers a 277-acre area near Hyland-Croy Road, U.S. Route 33 and Industrial Parkway that is included in the city's plan for a research and innovation park.

The land currently lies in Jerome Township, but City Manager Terry Foegler has said the agreement eventually would allow Dublin to annex land.

Standing in the way are permits granted to Marysville to provide sewer and water services to the area. Dublin and Columbus have filed appeals with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

According to the agreement, Columbus and Dublin will share income-tax revenue from the 277 acres, "less the percentage to Dublin for governmental services (and) less the percentage to Dublin for capital improvements," according to a staff memo to council. Dublin will be in charge of infrastructure improvements in the area.

The agreement also includes a non-compete clause that means Columbus businesses that move to the area will still pay income taxes to Columbus, and likewise for Dublin businesses.

One resident from the Post Preserve subdivision near the land told council she was concerned about high density and an increase in traffic once the land is developed.

Foegler said if Dublin has control of the land, the plan would be to develop "according to the community plan."

The 2007 community plan identifies land in the area for high density office and said goals for the U.S. Route 33 corridor are to "enhance the area as a key employment and service center and as a prominent gateway to Dublin with high quality development, strong gateway treatments and overall design features that exemplify the office and technology focus of the area."


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