Xenia has annexed land that extends to Central State University that could lead to the eventual annexation of the entire Greene County campus into the county seat.
The campus annexation, which Xenia Twp. opposes, would allow the city of Xenia to collect income tax from Central State’s 350 employees and for the university to no longer pay a surcharge on water, sewer, fire and emergency medical services.
Following a Ohio Supreme Court ruling in July, Xenia City Council last week officially approved the annexation of about 45 acres stretching from the city limits to Central State along the bike path known as the Ohio to Erie Trail. The bike path is city-owned.
The initial annexation does not include buildings on Central State land so the city can’t immediately tax university employees on their income. For the university to be annexed into the city, Central State will have to file a petition and Xenia will go through another annexation process, city officials said.
“Central State has expressed interest in annexing into the city of Xenia, but has not filed a petition for annexation. I am not aware of their timeline as to when they may submit a petition,” said Assistant City Manager Jared Holloway.
The city performed an economic impact analysis of annexing Central State, said the city’s Finance Director Ryan Duke. The city could gain about $340,000 a year in revenue if Central State were annexed into Xenia.
If Central State were annexed into the city, Xenia’s fire and emergency services contract with the university would be canceled because the university would be in the city limits. The city would also have to give water services to the university.
Greene County commissioners approved the city’s petition for annexation from Xenia Twp. to Xenia on July 9.
Xenia Twp. had opposed this annexation, saying the city would create an “annexed balloon” in 360 degrees around the city if they continued to do that.
In June, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the annexation was lawful. The case centered around the way Xenia and the university would be connected. The court’s opinion noted that it previously disfavored “strip,” “shoestring” or “corridor” annexations, but reforms adopted by Ohio in 2001 allow for them.
"The township trustees urged the county to deny the petition, which the county did after determining that the city’s petition did not satisfy [the type-2 annexation process],” read the ruling.
Xenia appealed the decision in the Second District Appeals Court and won, but then the county appealed, resulting in case going before the Ohio Supreme Court.
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