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New Troy TIF moving forward

By Pat Pratt

Troy City Council members on Monday continued moving forward in the process to create a new tax increment financing district that would encompass properties along the Interstate-55 corridor. 

At the May 1 meeting, members approved a feasibility study to determine if the area is eligible for redevelopment using TIF. Moran Economic Development during the meeting presented the results of that study, which showed properties under consideration do meet the qualifications to form the new district. 

“It was found that there were conditions in the Formosa Road TIF District Area that would qualify it as a ‘blighted area,’” the feasibility study states. “Per the Act, developed and undeveloped properties qualify under a separate set of eligibility criteria.”

The report noted some of the buildings in the areas are showing signs of deterioration congruent with their age of about 27 years on average. Surface improvements are also needed in the area, with some parcels showing cracked roadways, parking and right of ways. 

Those issues, the report states, are linked to the high traffic count near the highway interchange. Average daily traffic counts show 14,200 on the east side of the IL-162 interchange and 10,200 on the west side. 

Utilities improvements are also needed in the proposed district. According to the Moran report, the cost of such improvements is a barrier to redevelopment. Without economic resources for improvements, the properties can not be utilized to their full potential. 

The report also noted planning and zoning related issues, such as inadequate parcel sizes and shapes that would hinder development. In addition, the area is undermined or close to mines.  

The goal of the city in creating the TIF is to address these issues and foster development to increase commerce and industry. The feasibility study presented at the meeting is only a draft of potential plans and a process in accordance with state law will need to unfold before any concrete measures are approved by the city. 

An ordinance was approved to put the study on file for 10 days. Then, it will be sent to all affected parties. Another ordinance approved at the meeting creates an “interested parties” registry, which will be created by the city clerk. 

In other news from the meeting, nine voluntary pre-annexations were approved. A full list and property descriptions is available in the meeting agenda section of the city website. 

Council members also approved an application by James Orcutt for funding through the Downtown Storefront. Orcutt will receive $5,000 reimbursement for a $10,000-12,000 project at 116 South Main Street. 

Interim Police Chief Chris Wasser presented his report to council, showing the recent Cop on a rooftop event raised more than $10,000 for Special Olympics. Wasser also noted a busy week for the department, with three recent drug-related arrests. 

Several incidents, seven in total, involving young people driving recklessly were reported over the weekend at Park and Ride lots in Troy and St. Jacob, Wasser told council members. Mayor Council members will send a bid out again after the only offer on a new generator for city hall came in $15,000 over budget. The only bid for the 50 kilowatt generator and package was by J.F. Electric at a cost of $50,550. Council members will in the days ahead open a re-bid, with a trade-in alternative price. 

Bids were approved for two zero-turn lawn mowers. Mascoutah Equipment Co. will provide those at a cost of $27,000. 


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