By Stephanie Malench
The Troy City Council held a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. before its December 6 meeting about the new Downtown TIF district to begin January 1. Mayor pro-tem Nathan Henderson conducted both the public hearing and the regular city council meeting for Mayor Dave Nonn, who was out sick. Henderson opened the public hearing before turning the hearing over to Keith Moran of Moran Economic Development to give an overview of TIFs.
Moran started by asking how many people in the audience received certified letters informing them of the meeting, then explained to them that meant they were in the new TIF District. He then asked how may audience members received a regular letter in the mail, and explained that their property is within 750 feet of the new TIF District.
“TIF is in no way, shape, or form a tax increase”, Moran stressed, “and imposes no additional zoning requirements and there is no imminent domain”.
The new Downtown TIF district is a smaller section of the TIF 1 district that is expiring on December 31. The area qualifies under TIF law because it has stagnant or declining property values. Because not all of the problems were solved during the 23 years since TIF 1 was created in 1997, the Downtown TIF is being created to provide an additional 23 years of incentives for both property owners and the city.
Some of the projects the city plans on using funds for include infrastructure repairs in the area, including replacing the cast iron water main, improve manholes, line sewers, sidewalk repairs and making the sidewalks ADA compliant.
Other money will be available for property owners in the district to make repairs that increase the value of their property. City Administrator Jay Keeven explained the way the TIF financing would work in the following way. “If you are currently paying $5,000 in taxes each year, and improvements make your taxes go up to $6,000 a year, the $1,000 in improvements will go into the TIF bucket. These funds could be used to reimburse those who have made improvements to their buildings.
To qualify for TIF funds, the business owner would enter into a development or redevelopment agreement with the city before beginning the project. New construction costs at grade or below (such as sewer) or improvements to an existing building (such as a new roof, tuckpointing, or repairing a parking lot) are also eligible.
After a brief recess, the regular city council meeting began at its regular 7:30 p.m. time. City Administrator Jay Keeven used his comment time to inform Alderwoman Elizabeth Hellrung (Ward 1) that work is nearing completion on additions to the draft for the slow moving (non-highway) vehicle ordinance as well as decide where the ordinance fits in the code of ordinances and said that the Administrative Community Services Committee would review the ordinance one last time before presenting the ordinance to the council after the first of the year.
Building and Zoning Coordinator Linda Taake reported that many building permits are being filed.
Police chief Brent Shownes announced that Shop with a Cop received lots of donations and the department will be able to make 10 kids happy on Saturday, December 11 when the shopping event takes place at the Highland Walmart.
City engineer Tom Cissell reported that it is grant application season and his department is applying for several, including the Rebuild Illinois grant for sidewalk improvements and to bury the electrical wires and the Agency for Community Transit (ACT) grant for the trail going to C.A. Henning. If the city receives the ACT grant, the path will not use any city monies.
Public Works Director Rob Hancock reported that all four roofs at the wastewater plant were restored for $67,000 without performing any tear offs. Each roof was cleaned and damaged areas were repaired.
As has been done each of the last four year and will be done for each of the next four years, an ordinance was passed abating the tax levied to pay the principal of interest on general obligation bonds series 2016.
The tax levy for 2022 was approved. The city has requested $1,715,500, an increase of 4.943% over last year. No Truth in Taxation hearing is required.
The final ordinance passed officially dissolves TIF District #1. All taxing bodies will be notified.
After closed session, the last order of business was a resolution authorizing the mayor to execute a purchase agreement with the owner of 110 E. Market St. (between City Hall and the old U.S. Bank) for $130,000 from TIF #1 funds. The building will be razed for a public parking lot.
The next meeting will be December 20 at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall.