Archive for Thursday, July 20, 2006

TIF district nest egg may spur growth

July 20, 2006

To help push the possible development of a tax increment financing district in Eudora, the city would need what Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty described as a bird in hand.

The bird ---- or expressed commercial interest for the project ---- is already there, Beatty said.

"You have to have your first customer that's willing to invest money for the TIF," Beatty said.

The city would use TIF districts to entice growth by setting aside tax money in a defined area to go toward infrastructural projects the city couldn't otherwise afford. Once the city defines a TIF district it would bond out a certain amount of money to build what's needed then pay off the bond ---- usually over a 10-year period ---- with the collected taxes. Throughout the process, a citizen committee would make recommendations on the issuance of TIF funds.

City planning consultant Scott Michie of Bucher, Willis and Ratliff presented a revised outline of a possible TIF district July 12 to the Eudora lanning Commission, showing how development could be phased in east of 10th Street.

"It was felt that it was important to do these plans in the context of the entire corridor not just on a parcel by parcel basis," Michie said.

Michie led the commission through the multi-colored graphic.

"As you can see, the area north of Kansas Highway 10 is mostly the initial phases then east of there and south for future phases," Michie said.

By the end of Beatty and Michie's presentation on the continued development of the possible district, it appeared one more bird might be ready to join in.

Stan Hoover of Wilson and Hoover Development LLC requested time to consider the planned Deer Valley subdivision as another candidate for TIF funding.

Earlier in the evening, the planning commission approved plats for the first phase of the subdivision's construction.

Hoover expressed interest in the research because according to the preliminary TIF district layout, his subdivision would have provided the sewers and other infrastructural pieces needed for future commercial expansion.

"If I don't build it, they don't come," Hoover said.

Hoover said he'd be willing to wait for possible TIF financing.

"I'm not doing anything. I'm comfortable waiting right here," Hoover said.

Two different developers have approached Beatty asking if TIF districts were already in place. Beatty informed them the city was in the process of forming them.

"That's better than saying we don't have one," Beatty said.

Beatty has begun discussion with a bonding company concerning the district, she said.

"I think it's going in the right direction," planning commissioner Glenn Bartlett said.

Commissioner Patrick Jankowski noted Hoover's interest.

"Cheryl, I think you've got your bird in hand," Jankowski said.

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