By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON —
The city is considering amending the Tax Increment Finance District plan for the Industrial Park Conservation Area TIF.
Also known as the West Side TIF, the boundaries are roughly located south of Wal-Mart up to Sparrow Lane, then near Ambassador, with an east boundary of Interstate 57/64.
During a meeting of the Joint TIF Review Board for the district on Thursday, City Manager Ron Neibert said some of the projects which are being discussed by developers for the area are not industrial in scope.
“It’s called an Industrial Park/Conservation Area TIF because the main goal is to promote industrial and commercial growth in the area,” Neibert explained. “While the (TIF) statute does not prohibit other types of growth in the area, the issue we are looking at is that right now we have an inducement resolution with a company ... which has proposed, on property in the northwest corner of Ambassador and Wells Bypass, a commercial development. They have an option on an 80 acre tract and on part of that, they want to put multi-family and single family homes.”
Neibert said once Mt. Vernon Township High School chose the property bordering the TIF district for its new school, the demographics of development in a portion of the TIF district changed.
“You don’t normally see a school in an industrial area,” Neibert said. “There are other development interests for other types of development near the Interstate exchange, but we are looking at amending the TIF plan to allow for other types of development, including residential projects.”
Neibert said if the city council wants to move forward with amending the TIF plan, it would have to follow the statutory process.
“As part of the process, the Joint Review Board would discuss the amended plan and decide whether to make a recommendation on it,” Neibert said.
The Industrial Park/Conservation TIF was created in 2009, and had a base equalized assessed valuation of $242,538. As of April 30, 2012, the EAV reported for the area was $218,025. At this time, the TIF area has a negative balance, as there are infrastructure projects which will be reimbursed to the city from TIF funds.
“There have been no projects approved for TIF funds, but investment has been made to further the goals of the district,” Neibert said. “The city has worked to develop infrastructure to improve the district to allow for development. At this time, $839,000 has been used from general corporate bond proceeds for engineering of the infrastructure, $2.5 million has come from Public Utilities for water and sewer lines; and about $2 million in general corporate bond proceeds has been used for other infrastructure in the area to support growth in the district.”
Neibert said there are developers which have shown an interest in the area.
“One of the projects has been on hold because they were concerned with the Fiscal Cliff,” Neibert reported. “Others are waiting to make sure the infrastructure is completed. The infrastructure is almost done. We anticipate some very good interest in projects in that district.”