City approves joint economic development

By Jennifer Woods -

An ordinance that authorizes the creation of a joint economic development agreement between the city and Jefferson Township was passed during Wednesday’s Washington Court House City Council meeting.

According to City Manager Joe Denen, what this means is a small section of land in Jefferson Township, where the local McKesson facility is planned to relocate to in 2022, will be given an income tax at the same rate of the city’s income tax.

Denen explained that townships are unable to create income taxes on their own. By creating a joint economic development, the city will get half of the income tax from that area and Jefferson Township will receive half.

Five resolutions were also passed during the meeting.

Resolutions and ordinances are two different types of legislation that council addresses. The first time legislation is seen and approved by council it is placed on a first reading, the second time on a second reading and the third time on a third reading. Adoption of new legislation can occur once ordinances are placed on the third reading and resolutions are placed on the second reading.

Three of the passed resolutions authorize Denen to enter into contracts with both Ohio Cat and Vermeer for the purchase of equipment. That equipment includes a Caterpillar Backhoe, a Caterpillar High Flow Loader, and a Vermeer Vactron Vacuum Excavator.

In discussion of one of these resolutions, council member Steve Schiltz asked, “How long — what are we doing on this one?”

“The large equipment purchases — by passing the legislation, you will authorize those,” said Denen. “However, given economic uncertainty — normally, with an equipment purchase like this, council would authorize it and then we would proceed with the purchase. In this case, if council votes in the affirmative, it would be authorized — we would not execute the action until we have a better sense of financial condition.”

The fourth resolution authorizes Denen to enter into contract with EMH&T for the 2020 stormwater system development project.

In reference to this resolution, council member Jim Blair asked, “What was the cost for that particular contract for this storm water system?”

According to Kelley Ford, recording secretary, the contract was for $42,800.

The final resolution that was authorized allows Denen to award a one-year contract to Jayson Beekman of Beekman Farms for the rental of city-owned farm land, 1675 Old Chillicothe Road.

One new resolution was heard and placed on first reading. If passed, that resolution would authorize Denen to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the purchase of bulk highway rock salt. In previous council meetings, Denen explained that by buying the salt in bulk supply with ODOT, the city is able to save money on salt supply.

Three ordinances that were placed on second reading, if passed, would allow Denen or his designee to abate public nuisances at 1227 Willard St., 313 Willard St. and 403 E Elm St.

As previously reported, a nuisance is caused within a city if a property is dangerous, in a state of disrepair, is uninhabitable, decreases local property value or decreases the enjoyment of the lives of surrounding neighbors. An abatement of nuisance is a way for the city to handle the situation while charging the owner of the property.

Washington Court House City Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month at 7:30 p.m. They are located in the second floor council chambers of the City Administration Building, 105 N. Main Street. Meetings will be streamed live on the YouTube channel “City of Washington Court House, Ohio” at

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-463-1225 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.

By Jennifer Woods