By Scott Halasz
SUGARCREEK Twp. — Another lawsuit has been filed against Sugarcreek Township regarding fire and emergency medical service at the Cornerstone development.
Oberer Companies and its owner, George Oberer Jr., filed the suit in Greene County Common Pleas Court Tuesday seeking a court order and monetary damages in excess of $75,000 over the township’s plan to exclude Cornerstone and surrounding areas from a new fire district planned for 2017.
Oberer called the attempt at creating a new fire district, which as announced last month, “another illogical and irresponsible turn of events by Sugarcreek Township, its administrator and its Trustees.”
“If Sugarcreek Township’s representatives have their way, they will put at risk anyone who shops there, uses those roadways, or does business in the area,” Oberer said in a statement. “They will put at risk their own Sugarcreek Township residents along with motorists traveling on I-675.”
Costco is the major tenant and several other businesses have announced their plans to build at the Cornerstone. Others, including Milano’s, have backed out because of the fire and EMS situation.
The dispute, which has led to several lawsuits, is over how much the City of Centerville will pay the township for providing fire and EMS to the cornerstone, which is on Centerville-annexed land in the township. Centerville does not have its own fire department.
Township officials say Centerville is not offering to pay enough, which triggered the township’s first attempt at excluding the area from fire and EMS service, which occurred in November 2015.
Centerville officials and Oberer say the township had verbally agreed to the amount of funds that would be shared before ground was broken on the Costco store.
Township Administrator Barry Tiffany had not seen the lawsuit as of Wednesday evening but was not surprised when he heard about it.
“George (Oberer) is a businessman,” Tiffany said. “He’s trying to protect his business.”
Tiffany added that Oberer’s issue should not be just with Sugarcreek Township.
“It might be advisable to sue (Centerville),” he said. “We’ll see.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.