Park Hills City Council on Tuesday approved a new TIF district that would connect Parkway Drive to Industrial Drive, providing a direct route from Highway 8 to U.S. 67. The Council also heard a bond issue recommendation, accepted the resignation of a councilman, and approved the hiring of a new police officer.
During the meeting, the Council accepted the Dec. 2 resignation of Councilman Ricky Gray, who cited personal obligations and schedule conflicts as his reason for stepping down. Gray was elected in April to serve the remainder of an unexpired term. Councilman Terry Barnett also was absent from the meeting.
In a 6-0 vote, the Council approved an ordinance that designated a redevelopment area from the Industrial Park east to the Parkway Drive interchange with U.S. 67 and established the area as TIF District 3. The ordinance also included a redevelopment plan for the area.
The Park Hills TIF Commission reviewed the redevelopment plan in November and recommended it be approved. The plan calls for a connector road between Parkway and Industrial drives. When completed, the new section would provide a connecting road between Missouri 8 and U.S. 67 through the new TIF area.
City officials anticipate that the connecting road will attract commercial and light industrial businesses. Sales tax increases from those businesses would cover costs for construction of the connecting road.
According to City Administrator John Kennedy, the new area will use 2003 as its sales tax base year. Those figures will be compared with annual sales tax receipts from the businesses in the new TIF district. Half of any increase would go into a TIF district fund that would reimburse the city for the road improvements.
All property tax increases would go into the TIF district fund, Kennedy added.
The Council also heard a recommendation that the city consider a TIF bond issue and Certificates of Participation next year, in part to cover costs of relocating water and sewer mains in conjunction with outer road construction for the Woodlawn Drive extension. A TIF bond issue alone is not expected to cover the anticipated cost of the project.
Carl Ramey, of Steifel Nicolaus in St. Louis, told the council members that they should consider consolidating outstanding Certificates of Participation from 1993 that included funds for construction of City Hall and the purchase of a fire truck. Ramey estimated that the city has $310,000 left on the 1993 Certificates. A new Certificate of Participation would allow the city to pay off the 1993 amount and cover the planned utilities relocation at a lower percentage rate than that of the earlier Certificates.
“There would be very few costs of the utility relocation – $5,000 or less – that would not be captured,” Ramey said. “Those costs would be reimbursable through a TIF bond issue.”
The Council also voted to hire Fabian McRaven as a full-time police officer to replace former officer Sean Roney, who resigned in November to take a position with the Desloge Police Department.
McRaven currently works for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, where he earned the rank of corporal. He is a graduate of the Southeast Missouri Law Enforcement Academy and is state-certified as a law enforcement officer.
McRaven previously worked as an animal control officer for the city, and served as a deputy sheriff jailer from 2000 to 2001 for the Ste. Genevieve Sheriff’s Department.
Councilman Steve Kelly, speaking for the Senior Citizen Fund Advisory Committee, said that the committee anticipates having approximately $222,000 available in January for organizations that help the elderly. The committee expects to distribute funds to the four senior nutrition centers in St. Francois County. The ratio of persons served per dollar in funds will be considered when determining disbursement amounts. Other organizations that serve senior citizens may apply for funding.
In other business, the Council:
- Rezoned property adjacent to Seventh and Scoggins streets from R-1 and MH to R-3. The rezoning allows construction of two-family homes on the 24.47-acre property.
- Approved the subdivision of a lot near Westwood Drive into two lots of about one-third acre each.
- Formalized a contract with Ameren UE for street lighting.
- Amended and approved its franchise agreement with Charter Communications to adjust the tax rate from 3 percent to 5 percent. That will bring cable service in line with the tax rate of other utilities in the city.
- Agreed to allow the Racers for Research to begin their 2005 Flat River Grand Prix in the center of town.
- Established the holiday schedule for trash pickup. No recycling will take place from Dec. 20 through Dec. 30. That time period is designated as “unlimited trash days” so that residents may put out more than two bags of trash without purchasing stickers. Residents who usually have their trash picked up on Friday, instead will have trash pickup on Wednesday, Dec. 22, and Thursday, Dec. 30. Those whose trash is picked up on Thursday will have trash pickup on Wednesday, Dec. 22. during Christmas week.