By Charlie Feldman
The Troy City Council approved a plan for a new, much smaller downtown improvement Tax Increment Financing district to replace the old one that expires this year and hired a consulting firm to help with the switch during its Monday, September 20 meeting.
“This is where TIF districts are going,” said Keith Moran of Moran Economic Development LLC, the firm hired by the city to create the new Troy Business Improvement District Plan and Project. “More boutique, project specific-related TIFs. What we’re proposing is a smaller footprint TIF, one that would have very minimal impact on our taxing districts yet it would provide you with a revenue stream and an incentive tool to help further some of the objectives of your downtown.
“Provided we get everything up to the Illinois Department of Revenue by September 30, which we will, the tax would go into effect January 1 of 2022,” he said. “We would establish yet another business district fund like the others and you guys would start to collect those dollars in April 2022.”
The district includes a number of blight factors in some of the parcels of property.
“We have about 257 structures in the area, 176 of which are found to have notable defects in the structure and components of them,” Moran had told the board at a previous meeting. “The area is also undermined.”
Higher sales tax there will increase the amount of money available per purchase that would go toward developing it, he said then.
The council also voted to hire Moran’s firm to execute agreements concerning the process of closeout and termination of the old TIF district and the establishment of the newer, smaller one.
“The retirement of your TIF is going to release about $730,000 back onto the tax rolls,” Moran said. He said that if other taxing bodies wish, they can levy for those dollars that were formerly going into the old TIF since 1997. The firm would make sure the city follows the proper rules and procedures of getting the old district closed out and done with, he said.
Moran Economic Development was also hired to provide similar services involved with the expansion of the existing Discovery enterprise zone as well.
An enterprise zone is a state-designated area that allows an exemption on sales tax on building materials and offers investment tax credits as an incentive to attract projects such as Pete’s Market. The change is already planned but has to be coordinated with zones in other municipalities. It may become a reality next spring.
“The change in the enterprise zone,” said City Administrator Jay Keeven, “my best guess estimate, is that’s probably about a six-month process all the way through. As far as the closing of the TIF, we’ll have that done by the end of the year and the hope is to establish the whole [new] TIF by the end of the year as well. So we’re looking at three months for the TIFs.” He said they would work with the other taxing districts such as school, fire, library and Jarvis Township to have their support when filing with the Illinois Department of Revenue for its approval.
In other action the council approved:
• applying to the Safe Routes To School (SRTS) Grant Program and for the use of matching funds to replace the sidewalk along Illinois Route 162 from Hickory to Dewey Streets, providing a safer connection to Silver Creek Elementary School. If the application is successful, the grant will provide up to 80 percent ($250,000 maximum) of the overall costs of the project. The city’s portion will be paid by City General or Motor Fuel Tax funds. The project would take an estimated one or two years after the award, a city official said.
• the purchase of Lexipol Policy Management and Police One Academy Software for the City Police Department.
The next City Council meeting will be held on Monday, October 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Troy Municipal Building.