Central State annexation from Xenia Twp. to Xenia can happen, supreme court rules

Central State annexation from Xenia Twp. to Xenia can happen, supreme court rules
A view of the Central State University campus in Wilberforce. (Staff Photo) (Ty Greenlees)

XENIA — The Ohio Supreme Court ruled today that the annexation of Central State University land to the city of Xenia can happen, which would save the university money and provide a tax benefit for the city.

The debate was centered around the way the city and university would be connected, which is a requirement under Ohio annexation laws. The city is annexing a 41-acre strip of bike path along a former railway that connects to a 4.5-acre plot of Central State land.

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“The Court’s opinion noted that it previously disfavored “strip,” “shoestring,” or “corridor” annexations under Ohio’s traditional annexation scheme, but annexation reforms adopted by state lawmakers in 2001 permit them,” the Supreme Court reported.

Central State reported it currently contracts with the city of Xenia for water, sewer, fire and EMS. After the annexation, the university would not have to pay a surcharge for those services.

Xenia also would benefit from the 350 employees of the university that would pay income tax to the city.

“The Supreme Court ruling is encouraging for Central State University’s vision for expansion with the city of Xenia. The expansion promotes the mission of a land grant institution which is guided by the principle of enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Greene County and other Ohio counties,” said Central State President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond. “Central State and the city of Xenia are finally able to formally collaborate, grow and become stronger partners for social, economic and community development.”

Xenia Twp., which is where the university is located, had opposed the annexation.