Expansion of Nappanee TIF district will help pay for $6 million redevelopment project

 

NAPPANEE — The city of Nappanee is looking to extend the life of one of its tax increment financing districts by a decade.

The redevelopment commission asked attorney Craig Buche to look into steps for getting a bond for the city’s downtown TIF district.

The district is considered a legacy TIF district — one created prior to 1995 and that until last year had no expiration date. 

But the Indiana Legislature passed a law in 2014 that would require legacy districts to expire in 2025 unless they are repaying a bond issued before July 1, 2015, according to the Associated Press.

During a meeting Feb. 24, Buche told the redevelopment commission the downtown TIF district is generating about $90,000 a year and would have the potential to capture almost another $1 million if a bond is issued.

It usually takes 20 years to pay off a bond, he said.

“The question would be, does the city have any projects that would be ready to go within the next year or two that would be able to utilize that money in an efficient, economical way that would be beneficial to the downtown TIF district,” Buche said.

Nappanee Mayor Larry Thompson, who brought up the issue during the meeting, said money could be used several ways in the near future, such as expanding parking lots, demolishing properties or investing in central trash pickup.

“For the redevelopment commissions of the future, wouldn’t it be nice to have the money to make downtown improvements?” Thompson said.

Redevelopment commission members supported the idea of extending the life of the downtown TF district.

“There’s not a lot of money out there for downtown,” said redevelopment commission member Jane Leavitt. “And these are not airy-fairy ideas; these are things that are absolutely going to increase the value of properties of the town, too.”

Additionally, the money could be used for enhancements such as adding lighting or fixing sidewalks downtown, said Jeff Kitson, executive director of the redevelopment commission.

Buche is consulting with a bond counsel to figure out what the city needs to do to get the bond, Kitson said, adding that the redevelopment commission has rarely spoken about taking loans.

Discussions about the downtown TIF district will most likely continue in the next redevelopment commission meeting, March 24, Kitson said.

The Nappanee redevelopment commission meets at 7 a.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month.

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