City to create TIF districts

Leadington's St. Francois Plaza is one of three TIF districts planned for the small St. Francois County town after the board of aldermen voted Tuesday night to enter into agreements with Gilmore & Bell and Southeast Missouri Regional Planning, along with the formation of a TIF commission.

The Leadington Board of Aldermen took the first step in developing three Tax Increment Financing districts to encourage economic development in the city when it met in regular session Tuesday night at the municipal building.

Tax increment financing (TIF) is a public financing method that is used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure, and other community improvement projects.

“One will be a large portion of the [St. Francois] Plaza and the property behind it,” said City Clerk Debbie Eggers. “Then the second district will be on city hall’s side of Highway 32 up to Maple Street, excluding the storage units. A majority of the third district is made up of fields and undeveloped property by Auto Plaza Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.”

Mark Spykerman of Gilmore & Bell, a public finance law firm that represents states, counties, school districts and other governmental and quasi-governmental entities as bond counsel in public finance transactions, spoke to board members about the process of developing a TIF District. He recommended that a TIF meeting be held in October and a public hearing in early December with another meeting at the end of December.

The board approved a motion entering into a “letter of engagement” with Gilmore & Bell who will guide the city through the process.

Leslie Seabaugh, of the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission, spoke to the aldermen about the process of the city signing a “letter of agreement” with the Economic Development District that offers planning and economic development services to the counties of St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Iron, Madison and Perry, along with the municipalities within the seven counties. He also explained to the aldermen what the commission does on behalf of a city in the development of a TIF District.

The board approved a motion for the letter of agreement with the commission, as well as an ordinance establishing a TIF commission.

Mayor Dustin Winick also announced that the city will be having an amnesty week Sept. 18-22. Anyone with an outstanding city warrant can come by the municipal building at 12 Weir St. to set up a new payment plan and/or set a new court date.

In other action, the board approved the purchase of a safety green dump trailer from Busenbark Carpet for about $7,200; approved an amendment to the city’s liquor license application; moved cellphone service for the police chief and street department to Cricket Wireless; approved Fire Chief Doug Graham’s request to apply for a Missouri Conservation 50/50 grant for two nozzles, two chainsaws, three truck fittings and a portable scene light, totaling $3,126; donated storeroom items no longer used to Habitat for Humanity; and passed an ordinance amending the city’s C-1 Commercial regulations.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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