Joint improvement authority hearing Dec. 14Published 2:47pm Friday, November 27, 2009
By NORMA LERNER
Does anyone know what an improvement authority is or what it does?
The Village of Edwardsburg and Ontwa Township will be holding a joint public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14 at the Ontwa Township Hall on U.S 12 East. Area residents are invited to attend to find out what an improvement authority is and what it can do.
The two entities created the Uptown Corridor Improvement Authority, which basically will have the authority to create a TIF District, a tax increment financing plan, and to capture taxes from any new or improved properties in the district.
This is a 20-year-plan beginning in 2010 and ending in 2030. This plan includes improvements estimated to cost $8,375. These improvements could include organizational matters, streetscapes, water main replacement, facade improvements, intersection and parking improvements, a clock tower and annual marketing and gateway entry features. Proposed funding sources include TIF, village and/or township funds, Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Rural Development and private funds. Costs and financing of such projects will likely be announced.
Taxes that won’t be captured will be inflationary growth in taxable valuation, special voted millages for police/sheriff programs, fire and emergency medical services. Voted county library millage and the Cass County Council on Aging are also exempt. The new E-911 voted millage has not been addressed at this time.
The plan also states that if the corridor improvement authority revenues exceed the anticipated needs of the projects in the budget, excess revenue shall be remitted to respective taxing units. It also indicates that $25,000 in costs incurred for the creation of the authority is to be paid from the initial TIF revenues of $3,933. Projected county taxes to be captured during the 20 years is $261,140.
During the meantime, Public Act 280 of 2005 provides the county with an option to opt out of the tax capture plan or to negotiate an agreement with the authority that would specify what millages could be captured. If the county wishes to opt-out, it must do so by resolution within 60 days of the public hearing. The county board appointed a committee to look into its policy on tax sharing.
If the Uptown Corridor Improvement Authority is found to be acceptable by both entities, it was noted that an ordinance to approve the TIF plan might be considered. However, during the village council’s Nov. 16 meeting, it was decided not to take action after the joint hearing until its next council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21.
For further information, contact Bernadine Tilbury, Edwardsburg Village clerk, at 663-8484, or Paula Ralph, Ontwa Township clerk, at 663-2347.