Township Board Removed The Lansing Regional

Township Board Removed The Lansing Regional

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Lansing Regional "SmartZone" Local Development Financing Authority (LDFA) was taken off the agenda during the Meridian Township Board meeting on Aug. 3 after some concern was expressed.

The purpose of the LDFA is to support technology innovation in the township. The specific areas in Meridian Township that the SmartZone proposed was Dawn Avenue, which includes VanCamp Incubator and Research Labs, and the M-78 Corridor. The LDFA also offers grants to businesses, primarily those in technology.

One of the Board's biggest concerns was with the tax capture of the LDFA and where it would go.

Neighborhoods and Economic Development Director Amber Clark said the Township and LDFA would have a split on the tax capture.

"There will be an interlocal agreement between the entities and right now the suggestion is that it will be a 90-10 split," Clark said. "Which 90% of the capture created in Meridian Township would be used in Meridian Township, would be determined by Meridian Township and stay in Meridian Township."

The Lansing Regional SmartZone is made up of the Cities of Lansing and East Lansing, Michigan State University, the MSU Foundation, Ingham County and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Clark said that there is no negative for not joining the financing authority.

"It's August," Clark said. "They've got to go through this process, get their approvals to move forward and it's no negative to the Township and we've got five years to consider being included again."

The agenda item for the Aug. 3 meeting was just for the township to express interest and intent in the partnership and set up a public hearing for the LDFA.

The board has until the end of 2021 to decide whether or not they would like the township to be a part of the LDFA.

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