Tax abatement for Taco Bell

By Jane Beathard

July 17, 2014

Taco Bell is inching closer to a vacant lot on West High Street in London.

On Tuesday, members of London City Schools Board of Education approved a resolution, granting a 10-year, 50 percent property tax abatement for a new franchise of the Tex-Mex fast-food chain on a site once occupied by Rax .

London City Council is expected to pass a similar resolution in coming weeks.

School board treasurer Kristine Blind noted board approval was unnecessary since the abatement request did not exceed 50 percent. However, she noted the vote was a gesture of support for the project.

“It’s just a formality,” Blind said.

She said franchisee Triple Play Restaurants, Inc. will invest $900,000 in the former Rax site. The new restaurant will employ three full-time and 31 part-time workers.

It is expected to open in January or February 2015, according to a Taco Bell corporate spokesperson.

Also on Tuesday, school board members approved a new, three-year contract with the district’s chapter of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees. OAPSE represents support staff such as bus drivers, aides, cafeteria workers and custodians.

The new contract went into effect on July 1 and grants members a 3 percent salary raise the first year and 1 percent raise the second year. It also allows for salary re-negotiation prior to the third year.

Board members approved a similar three-year contract with the teachers’ union in June.

In other meeting business on Tuesday, board members:

• Accepted the resignations of teachers Anna Wallace and Nikki Hursh, as well as technology coordinator Steve Ladd.

• Hired teacher Lindsay Ripley under a one-year contract. Jill Smith, treasurer of London Academy, was re-hired for a year at an annual salary of $12,000.

• Added honors physical science to the high school curriculum, beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

• Approved a one-year contract with the Madison County-London City Health District for school nurse services. Total cost is $35,720.

Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1616 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.