The city will be responsible for the remaining $1.1 million of the $1.55 million project, which it plans to nearly cover using tax increment financing. The tech park is an urban renewal area and the city recently amended the urban renewal agreement, making way for the roadway extension.
“By the council taking the action to approve that urban renewal plan, this is now a project we can request tax increment financing for to fund,” City Administrator Jessica Kinser explained.
A $300,000 shortfall remains, which the city has asked the Clinton County Development Association to cover. This portion of the project would pay for items not eligible under the RISE grant, such as turn lanes on Mill Creek Parkway. If the CCDA couldn’t bankroll the $300,000, the city would scale down the portions not covered by the RISE grant and TIF.
According to Kinser, there won’t be any debt associated with the project.
“We’re looking at the unique ability to have what I estimate to be $800,000 of tax increment financing available in fiscal year 2015 because we have no other obligations in that district. So if we can meet that other $300,000 portion then we’ll be looking at being able to cash flow this in the current year,” Kinser said.
It all means that by this time next year, 19th Avenue North will run through the Lyons Business and Technology Park with the hopes of opening the park for more development.
The other major project, that of Liberty Square, is the redevelopment of a stretch of U.S. 30 and 67 that runs between South Fourth and 14th streets and has included the development of two separate, three-lane, one-way roads, Camanche and Liberty avenues. Officials have said their hope would be the development of several blocks of new commercial properties in between the two roads.