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Community Improvement Corporation (“CIC”) at a Glance

Great News!

If you are a small business looking for opportunity in Munroe Falls, please contact Anne DiCola for information about newly available economic assistance for small businesses. Download the Press Release for more details about recent CIC changes, or call Anne at City Hall.

cic.pngWhat is a Community Improvement Corporation? 

A Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) is a not-for-profit corporation created by the State of Ohio Legislature for the sole purpose of advancing, encouraging, and promoting industrial, economic, commercial, and civic development.  The State of Ohio Legislature enacted the ability to form a CIC over forty (40) years ago and there are over two hundred thirty-five (235) CICs active statewide. 

What does the CIC plan to do with the funding? 
The primary purpose for the funding is to help Munroe Falls’ economic development by creating and retaining jobs. To realize these goals, the CIC assembles, improves, and sells commercial property to businesses that will enhance our community and provide jobs.  Without that ability, important parcels could remain vacant or be developed in a manner that is below their highest and best use. Ultimately, any funding, when used, is expected to come back to the CIC. The funding will be “revolving.”  It is an investment in Munroe Falls' economic development future. CIC is also important to help businesses obtain those forms of State economic development assistance that require community participation.

What is a CIC able to do? 
Ohio Revised Code Section 1724.02 enables the Community Improvement Corporation to borrow money, issue bonds, debentures, or notes, and secure indebtedness by a mortgage, pledge, or deed of trust.  A CIC can also make special loans to persons, firms, partnerships, or corporations, provided that such persons, firms, partnerships, or corporations provide satisfactory proof that they have applied unsuccessfully for a loan through ordinary banking or commercial channels. Obviously, any such loans would have to be in connection with the purpose of the CIC in advancing, encouraging, and promoting the industrial, economic, commercial, and civic development of the City.

A CIC may also purchase, receive, hold, lease, acquire, will, convey, transfer, sublease, or dispose of real and personal property, as well as acquire the good will, business, rights, real and personal property, and any other assets of any other person, firm, partnership, or corporation.

Finally, a CIC can also serve as an agent for making grant applications and for the administration of grants for the City of Munroe Falls for which it serves.

How is the CIC established? 
Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 1724.04, a CIC is established by the filing and recording of Articles of Incorporation with the Ohio Secretary of State.
Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 1724.10, a CIC can be an agent for the development of a municipal corporation, such as Munroe Falls.  In that regard, the City can contract with the CIC to develop properties owned by the City within the municipality.

How is Munroe Falls’s CIC configured? 
Munroe Falls’s CIC, as stated in state law, requires that not less than two of five of the Governing Board member (Trustees) of any CIC shall be composed of the Mayor and one or more member of the City’s legislative authority.  Membership on the CIC by the Mayor and members of Council does not constitute holding a public office and does not disqualify that member from holding other public offices.

The CIC must act in accordance with all local planning and zoning regulations and all of its activities must be directed towards promoting and encouraging the development and growth within the municipality. 

In the creation of a CIC, the Board of Trustees or Board Membership can be greater than five, keeping in mind that not less than two of five must be the Mayor and members Council.  Consequently, if you have ten Board members, you would have one Mayor and at least three members of Council for a total of at least four of ten.

Is the CIC accountable?
Yes, state law requires that the CIC file an annual financial report with State Auditor, certified by the Board of Trustees.  The report must be filed within 120 days following the last day of the CIC’s fiscal year.  All votes by the CIC must be in public meetings and public records are maintained.  The only thing that is NOT public, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 1724.11 are financial and proprietary information submitted on behalf of a business in connection the relocation, location, expansion, improvement, or preservation of a business. With a CIC, business records can remain confidential, while the loan and vote by the CIC would still be public.

Why is the CIC being activated now? 
An active CIC is an important tool to promote economic development and protect Munroe Falls’ economic future.  CIC is proactive, allowing the community to respond quickly to economic development opportunities.

Will the CIC use it’s funding for other purposes?
The funding to the CIC isn’t lost, it will be reinvested in our community to create or retain jobs.

What are the benefits of a CIC? 
Some of the benefits of having a CIC include the fact that the CIC can buy and sell real estate without the entanglements associated with municipal ownership of real estate.  Additionally, the work through CIC can be accomplished without the requirement of competitive bidding.  There is much greater flexibility in real estate developmentthrough a CIC as opposed to City controlled development.

The CIC could own the land and allow someone to build upon it and lease the property to the developer.  The CIC could develop the land itself and be a landlord for tenants on the property.  Or the CIC could simply sell the land to a developer subjecting the development to certain pre-development criteria.  All of these are options that the CIC could undertake with direction from the City.

The greatest benefit of having a CIC is its ability to be more flexible and move more quickly in terms of purchasing, selling, or developing land.

Are there limitations? 
Yes, all CIC development must comply with local zoning and building codes, and dovetail with the Town Center Plan.  Documents creating the CIC could place certain limitation on their ability to do certain things within the area of development such that any development would have to comply with the Town Center plan or similar requirements.

If you have further questions or would like additional information about Community Improvement Corporations, please contact the Mayor's office.
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