TWINSBURG — City Council cleared the way May 14 for the relocation of Pepperl+Fuchs from Twinsburg Township by approving a tax abatement under the city’s Community Reinvestment Area program.

Director of Planning and Community Development Larry Finch said the firm plans to move 137 full-time employees from Enterprise Parkway to Darrow Road, just north of CVS/Pharmacy. The abatement also involves P+F Realty Inc., owner of the vacant property.

Finch said Pepperl+Fuchs plans to erect a 50,000-square-foot building and make about a $20 million investment. Its employees comprise an annual payroll of $9.7 million.

The 50-percent, 12-year abatement will mean the city will collect about $194,000 more per year in income tax revenue, a small portion of which is shared with the school district. The abatement will save the firm about $150,000 a year.

In another economic matter, Finch said he hopes to have a downtown redevelopment district plan ready for Council discussion later this month or in June.

Also May 14, Council approved an agreement with the state auditor’s office to carry out a performance audit, which will analyze all city operations and recommend possible money-saving practices.

Councilman Bill Furey said a performance audit was done for some departments a few years ago, and this audit originally was to be for the police, fire and service departments.

However, Council expanded the audit to include all phases of operation at a cost of $80,000. Councilman Sam Scaffide voted "no" because he favored auditing just the original three departments at a cost of about $50,000.

"I think it was a good expenditure when we did the previous audit," said Furey. "It resulted in the city saving some money. I’m confident doing the audit for all departments will be a positive move."

Finance Director Sarah Buccigross said the audit should start in mid-July and be completed in six to eight months. "I’d guess we should get the results back early in 2020," she said.

Council also accepted the lands and improvements dedicated to public use in the Shepard Preserve subdivision, along with accepting the maintenance guarantee and reducing the performance guarantee.

Council amended the 2019 appropriations to reflect moving $130,000 from the parks-recreation capital fund to the state grant fund.

The money comes from an Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks grant and will be used to create a ballfield and small parking lot at Liberty Park. The city and Twinsburg Baseball League each will contribute about $85,000 .

Council had no objection to the transfer of a liquor license from Spice Thai Cuisine to Mango Thai Cuisine. The restaurant is at 8870 Darrow Road.

Council also OK’d final site plans for a Vistar addition in Cornerstone Business Park and Circle K gas station, convenience store and car wash at Route 82 and I-480.

Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry praised Twinsburg’s fire department for helping with the search for a missing autistic child in Green. He was located a few hours later and was OK. Barry called the city’s safety forces "outstanding."

Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400, ext. 4189 or klahmers@recordpub.com.