ELYRIA — The city’s 2013 windfall money is nearly gone and with the last of it, the city is moving ahead with a previously announced project that will see the former General Industries’ site returned to productive use.
Monday night, Council voted on two ordinances that together authorize the city finance director to move $500,000 from the fund to the city’s Community Improvement Corporation. The money is part loan — about $350,000 — and part donation — about $150,000, said Finance Director Ted Pileski.
“The CIC actually owns the former General Industries property and has secured a grant to clean up the property. The only thing is the CIC doesn’t have any money,” he said. “We are moving this money to the CIC so they can do the work and take advantage of the grant, which is a reimbursement grant.”
JobsOhio, the state’s private nonprofit for economic development and job creation, will repay the $300,000 to the CIC, which will return the funds to the city.
A $150,000 donation from the same fund to the CIC will cover the remaining environmental remediation work that Pileski said early estimates put at about $500,000. He called the legislation housekeeping work in regards to an announcement Mayor Holly Brinda made back in March.
Then, Brinda announced that Elyria Plastic Products planned to buy the former General Industries site for an expansion project.
Elyria Plastic will use the land for a new employee parking lot as it builds a $1.3 million expansion that will bring five new jobs.
The first agreement between Elyria Plastic and the Elyria CIC sets the purchase price for the property at $50,000. Elyria Plastic will place the funds in escrow until the property is remediated for use.
A second agreement between JobsOhio and the Elyria CIC brings in another $300,000 that also will be used for cleanup.
The city’s CIC will put up the last $150,000 to round out the cleanup costs. But first the CIC will need the city’s funds to fulfill the caveats of the agreement.
Pileski said this move nearly empties the fund.
“But when JobsOhio reimburses us for the grant, we will get that back and start with $300,000 in the fund,” he said.
This is not the only business deal the city has going on involving both the demutualization fund — as the windfall money is known — and the CIC.
Last month, Council voted to donate $500,000 to the CIC. The CIC is looking to possibly loan the money to another company that wants to relocate its headquarters inside the former Macy’s department store. The loan will serve as gap financing in a relocation project that includes a more than $3 million investment on the part of the company, which also guarantees 22 jobs over the next three years.