Council approves TIF for laundry, dry cleaning processing plant

by Kathleen Steele Gaivin

Aug. 16 council meeting

Brecksville City Council approved an economic incentive agreement with Retail Enterprises to open a Tide Cleaners laundry and dry-cleaning facility on Brecksville Road, just south of Snowville Road.

As part of the 10-year tax incentive agreement, the city has agreed to provide the company with an annual grant equal to 35% of the company’s municipal payroll tax.

In January, council approved a conditional-use permit for DMS, allowing the company to open a processing plant in an existing building where garments serviced by Tide franchises throughout the region will be cleaned. Onsite retail services will not be provided.

The plant opened in June after relocating from the city of Akron. It currently operates with a staff of 30 employees that account for a $1.6 million annual payroll. The company currently has 10 storefront locations across the region.

The grant dollars Brecksville will allocate over the 10-year grant period is expected to total approximately $112,000. That amount would increase if DMS adds to its employees and payroll. To qualify, DMS must maintain a minimum annual payroll of $1.6 million and stay in Brecksville for at least 10 years.

As long as DMS meets 90 to 99 percent of the annual payroll requirement, the company can make up for the shortfall in subsequent years. If DMS fails to meet at least 90 percent of the annual payroll requirement, the company would have to meet with the city and agree on a plan of action.

Additionally, if DMS leaves Brecksville within the first five years of the agreement, the company would have to return 100% of the grant dollars it received. If the company leaves town in years six through 10, it would have to return a percentage of the funds based on the year the company leaves the city.

In other business, city officials announced the city will be taking on $4.5 million in bond debt to help pay for the Miller Road interchange expansion project. The project involves constructing, reconstructing, widening, paving, grading, draining and other construction activities to create an expanded interchange to accommodate additional traffic expected from the Valor Acres development.

The entire interchange project is estimated to cost $16.6 million, according to Finance Director Laura Starosta. The city currently has $1 million in outstanding notes on the project that were issued in February, she said.

“We don’t know the final numbers that the state will provide us a contract for,” Starosta said, noting that if the mayor obtains money from outside funding sources, those funds would be used to pay down the notes.

Council also issued a commendation to Mark Vajskop in honor of his retirement from the Brecksville Service Department after 19 years with the city. Mayor Jerry Hruby said that Vajskop has “served the city well.”

According to the commendation, “during his tenure with the city of Brecksville, Mark served in many capacities.”

Brecksville City Council also offered condolences to the family of former Councilmember Carl Opatrny, who died Aug. 5 at the age of 84. Opatrny was appointed to city council on Jan. 20, 1987 to fill the unexpired term of Dean R. Webb. Opatrny then served on council until Jan. 1, 2006.

In addition to his many accomplishments as a councilmember, he is also well remembered for his role for more than two decades in Brecksville’s annual Christmas play as the “beloved but hapless toymaker Bumbles who drove Santa Claus to distraction with his well-intentioned but ill-conceived ideas.”

Hruby noted that Opatrny was instrumental in generating the funding to build the Brecksville library and community center and in the acquisition of the Blossom Hill property during his 18 years on council. ∞