By DEANA STROISCH (firstname.lastname@example.org), THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER, Posted Aug 17, 2011
Proposals to create Springfield’s ninth tax increment financing district along a struggling section of MacArthur Boulevard were introduced to aldermen this week.
Mayor Mike Houston said he believes the area will meet the requirements needed to be designated as a TIF district. “The real secret in terms of dealing with something along MacArthur is limiting the boundaries,” he said.
The city is targeting MacArthur Boulevard from South Grand Avenue to Summit Avenue. Houston said the TIF district area would include both sides of MacArthur — from alley to alley – but include only properties that front the street. The troubled MacArthur Park Apartments probably won’t be included in the district, Houston said.
The proposal is sponsored by Ward 6 Ald. Cory Jobe and Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin, whose wards include MacArthur Boulevard.
“I support a TIF for the area because it is critical to create incentives that will help attract development to the inner city,” Jobe said. “A TIF can also help toward beautification efforts along the boulevard as identified in the Lakota Group Master Plan.”
Aldermen next month also will vote on a contract with Peckham, Guyton, Albers & Viets Inc. to serve as the city’s consultant on creation of the district. The city’s cost is estimated at $15,000.
“With the passage of both ordinances, what we would be in the position to do is to have a consultant begin the work to certify that we can meet the requirements of the tax increment district,” Houston said. “Once we’ve met the requirements, we then have to turn information into the state and have it approved.”
That process can take more than a year.