The Jacksonville City Council had two firsts to ponder over while giving consideration to a number of recent Tax Increment Funding requests.
TIF District administrator Kelly Hall presented five TIF requests to the council during the workshop session last night. Requests were submitted for assistance with projects ranging from roof replacement to total renovations of five downtown buildings.
Hall says the number of requests, and total amount requested was a first for Jacksonville’s TID district. “We had five applications at once and that’s kind of unique. We generally don’t have than many at one time, and the amounts requested were pretty high and it far exceeded the amounts we currently have available in our TIF fund.”
Hall told the council that the first two requests were pretty typical for the TIF, with Mike Hayes requesting 50% of the $110,000 estimated costs for a new roof at 46 North Central Park Plaza, the site of the former DCFS office, and Dr. Matthew Lynch requesting 50% of the estimated $60,000 in facade work currently underway at his office at 53 South Central Park Plaza.
Hall says the other three requests were not typical. John Rohn requested more than $780,000.00 toward his estimated $1.5 million renovation of the former Elliot State Bank building, Colleen Flinn requested 50% of a complete renovation of 74 East Central Park Plaza estimated to cost well over $300,000.00, and Allen Yow of the Rammelkamp Bradney Law Office requested $520,000.00 toward a more than $1 million planned renovation of the Lair Building located 234 through 238 West State Street.
The Lair is most recently known for the rear portion collapsing last October. City Attorney Dan Beard explained to the council during discussion, that the request was permissible as a contingency in a proposed purchase agreement between the firm and the LLC that owns the building currently.
Hall says another first was reached as the requests totaled well more than what is currently in the TIF fund. “The Review Committee’s recommendation to the City Council was just to try and split that [remaining amount] up as evenly as possible and they presented that tonight to the Council.
We will deplete the account if we fund them all, and it sounds like tonight we will, and then we won’t have any more funds available until property taxes are paid next year.”
Currently, the TIF has approximately $468,000.00 with $72,000.00 of that committed to a current roofing project at the old Woolworth’s building. Hall says the committee recommended approving the full amounts to Mike Hayes and Matthew Lynch and giving the other three $100,000.00 each toward their projects. The grant awards will not zero out the fund, but an estimated $12,000.00 that would be left is the lowest the fund has been since its inception.
After much discussion during both the workshop and council meetings the TIF Committee’s recommendations were approved by the council.
TIF grants are contingent on the project being completed before they are paid out. In the meantime, the owners of the three requests that were not able to be fully funded can apply for revolving loans and tax credits from the TIF.