Steering committee formed to look at infrastructure funding

 

A steering committee has been formed to discuss how to fund infrastructure
projects in the village.
The steering committee is chaired by Village Trustee Andy Gherna and
includes SJO Superintendent
Brian Brooks, St. Joseph Grade School Superintendent Todd Pence, Mayor
Tami Fruhling-Voges, Village Trustees Jim Wagner and Anthony Laubscher.
The committee also includes Diana Foltz, Jeff Kern, Luke Fisher, Rod
Maddock and Rusty Shafer.
The committee was formed after 18 months or discussions regarding a
proposed residential TIF district.
Developer Greg Millage approached the board and asked asking them to form
a residential TIF to include the land he is considering developing. In
2017 Millage’s plan called for the land, behind Prince of Peace Lutheran
Church, to include 64 lots, with 12 duplex condos and an assisted living
facility. Millage developed the 44-lot Windstone Subdivision in Tolono
after the village created at TIF district in 2003. The last residential
development in St. Joseph was in 2007 when the Crestview Subdivision was
developed.
The village was originally looking at the TIF as a way to fund
infrastructure upgrades.
A major hurdle for the village is the fact that a residential TIF takes
away money from the local school districts while giving them more children
to educate.
TIF districts are usually created when a municipality identifies an
economically stagnant or physically declining area.
The municipality usually determines that a private investment in the area
is not likely to occur if a public investment doesn’t happen.
The proposed TIF the village is discussing is different in that the
village was approached by the developer about creating a TIF.
The proposed residential TIF district could produce $15.8 million in
additional tax revenue over 23 years.
While the numbers have changed over the past 18 months, the current
proposal calls for Millage to receive nearly $3 million. St. Joseph #169
would receive $2.4 million and SJO #305 would receive $1.8 million over
23 years.
Based off current tax rates, the grade school district would lose $3.3
million and the high school would lose $2.5 million with the
implementation of the TIF district over 23 years.
The village would receive $9.3 million. Based off current tax rates, the
village would gain $8.4 million with the implementation of the TIF
district.
The St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Protection District would lose $620,000 with
the implementation of the TIF district.
The Champaign County Government, Forest Preserve, Parkland College and St.
Joseph Township would lose a combined total of $3.8 million.
During a recent steering committee meeting, Gherna said he was
comfortable saying a residential TIF was the a last resort for the village
to fund needed drainage and sewer plant upgrades that have been estimated
to cost $8 million.
The steering committee is currently examining grants, loans and sewer rate
increases to cover the cost of the infrastructure upgrades.
They will eventually make a recommendation to the village board regarding
their research.

 

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