TPS board members not keen on Marina District deal

TOLEDO -- There was some tough talk Tuesday evening from Toledo School Board members for their colleagues on Toledo City Council, reports News 11's Tim Miller.

The discussion centers around the Marina District. The docks are already used by boaters, and the designs are in place for a major retail development. But school board members aren't ready to give up what's coming to them.

An offer is on the table for Toledo Public Schools to give up the first 15 years of property tax they'd be due on the Marina District's buildings. That money -- at least $1 million -- would be re-routed to pay for key pieces of the project.

Council members attempted to allay TPS board members' concerns.

"What does any school board member want, any council member want? We want people to stay in the city, in the TPS district, so we all benefit from this project going well," said Councilman George Sarantou.

While giving up the property taxes on the buildings, TPS would still get property taxes on the land. But school board members spoke out against what they call a lack of information from the city and a lack of time to consider the offer.

"Whoever negotiates with the school system needs to be very tough and get them to the table and find out just what the numbers and the impact it has on the school system," said Jack Ford, TPS board member.

"Our interest is with the children and families of the school district, and we need to do what we think is prudent. That means we need to have the information and I don't think any of the board members disagree with that," said board member Bob Vasquez.

Sarantou says the lack of a decision by the school board will delay the construction by two months. But he agrees they should get the time they need to make their decision.

The school board's finance committee will hold a special meeting on Monday morning to work on a recommendation on the offer.

Posted by KO