Aldermen table proposal to enter contract for consulting services for new TIF district for two weeks

The proposed TIF district for the German Village area encompasses 14 square blocks and approximately 125 private parcels in the Eighth and State area. | Photo courtesy of City of Quincy

QUINCY — A request for a contract with a St. Louis firm for consulting services related to the proposed German Village Tax Increment Finance District was tabled for two weeks during Monday’s Quincy City Council meeting.

The city administration has proposed the establishment of the TIF district for the German Village area, which encompasses 14 square blocks and approximately 125 private parcels in the Eighth and State area. The proposed boundary has an approximate equalized assessed value of $4.2 million.

“Some of the goals of a TIF district are to address blight, improve public infrastructure, support redevelopment projects and boost the local property tax base,” read a memo from Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development for the city. 

Bevelheimer asked for assistance from PGAV Planners, LLC, from St. Louis to determine an eligibility and redevelopment plan for the new TIF District. The cost for the study would be $36,000, with another $4,000 to be spent on mailings, advertising and publications.

When the resolution came up for a vote, Alderman Glen Ebbing (R-5) asked to table the issue.

“I’ve been out interviewing, talking to people in the district, and most of the people are in favor of it,” Ebbing said. “But I’ve heard a few people who are kind of questioning about it, and as a new kid on the block here, I need to understand the TIF program a little bit more myself. … As a representative from my ward, I think I owe it to the people that I clearly understand this program before I cast the vote.”

When Quincy Mayor Mike Troup put Ebbing’s request before aldermen for a vote, all but Jack Holtschlag (D-7) approved it. That frustrated Jason Traeder, who spoke to aldermen about the TIF district during the public forum at the beginning of Monday’s meeting.

“The proposal in front of the council was for hiring consultants to kind of get the process started,” Traeder said. “It wasn’t a vote to put the TIF into action or to put it in place. It was to initiate the process. I’m a little disappointed, because I would have liked to see the process get started. It has to go through several layers of government. (State Senator) Jill Tracy has to petition for it. (State Representative) Randy Frese has to petition for it. There’s a lot of things that have to happen.

“I understand Alderman Ebbing’s reluctance to move forward on something he’s unsure about. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to talk with him about the process.”

Traeder and Mark Krogman both spoke on behalf of the implementation of the TIF district.

Krogman owns A&B Property, which owns 74 investment properties and operates 285 residential and commercial units. He said TIF money has had a significant return on investment in the city’s two other TIF districts.

“That (return on investment) obviously gives a huge amount of taxes after these projects are completed,” he said. “You get all or most of that back in taxes. You almost need to consider the TIF kind of loan, because the money comes back in the additional taxes benefit from that business.

“When you look around downtown, and you look back 15 years ago, it’s unrecognizable today. The downtown really needed that. It’s programs like the TIF that actually created the great thing that you see downtown. It’s time to support the south side of Quincy. The TIF could do the same thing it’s done for the downtown on the south side of Quincy.”

Traeder explained to aldermen and people watching the online streaming broadcast that if a person lives outside the proposed boundary, the TIF district does not affect them. If a person owns a home inside the boundary, the TIF district does not affect them. 

“The TIF only affects commercial properties and businesses located within the boundary,” he said. “We’ve talked to several of the major business owners within the property boundaries, and all of them are on board.”

Local taxing bodies can create a TIF district, where the equalized assessed value of the property in the area is set at a base amount. Property taxes collected on properties in the TIF district at the time of its designation continue to be distributed to the school districts and all other affected taxing districts in the same manner as if the district did not exist. A tax increment is the different between the amount of property tax revenue generated before TIF district designation and the amount of property tax revenue generated after TIF designation.

In other business, aldermen:

  • Learned the city recently was awarded $300,000 in grant funds from the Illinois Housing Development Authority as part of the Home Repair and Accessibility Program.
  • Gave permission to Lucky Dog’s, 1800 State, to waive the liquor ordinances for consumption and possession of liquor on public streets, alleys, sidewalks and lots on June 24 for a “Summerfest” from 7 p.m. to midnight.  The Quincy Police Department gave no recommendation for the live entertainment/public gathering application due to negative responses received during the neighborhood canvas, but aldermen approved it unanimously.
  • Gave Machinist Local 822 Retiree Club permission to conduct a raffle from July 5 to Sept. 21.
  • Gave Fireworks Authority Inc. permission to hold a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. June 28 at the Quincy Country Club, 2410 State.
  • Approved the Quincy Police Department to remain an active participant in the West Central Illinois Criminal Justice Council for the annual fee of $8,000. 
  • Approved buying four LIFEPAK 1000 automated external defibrillators, related accessories and one LIFEPAK 1000 training AED from Stryker of Redmond, WA, for $12,718.45. 
  • Approved buying policy management services for $14,272.07 from Lexipol LLC, from Irvine, Calif. 
  • Authorize city treasurer to sign letters acknowledging Azavar as the tax auditor for all franchise fees incurred since June 30, 2019 and food and beverage tax remittances since Jan. 1, 2021. 
  • Authorized creation of an ordinance giving Vikki Crider and Sylvia Tillman a special permit for a planned development, allowing for the operation of a 24-hour daycare facility for children age 12 and under at 3700 East Lake Centre Drive. 
  • Rescinded an ordinance for a special permit for planned development at 1537 N. 24th.

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