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City activates first TIF area

Leadington Mayor Dustin Winick unseals one of the three bids submitted for the replacement of the city hall furnace. After discussion, the board voted to accept a bid of $10,070 turned in by Crystal Heating and Cooling.

The Leadington Board of Aldermen approved activating the first of three redevelopment project areas (RPA) along the U.S. 67/Highway 32 corridor that will utilize Local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for its funding.

The board voted to create three TIF districts within the city limits last year to help increase economic development in the town of approximately 500 residents.

TIF districts permit the use of a portion of local property and sales taxes to assist funding the redevelopment of certain designated areas within a community. Areas eligible for Local TIF must contain property classified as a “blighted,” “conservation” or an "economic development" area, as well as any combination of the three.

Leslie Seabaugh, regional planner with the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning & Economic Development Commission appeared before the board to recommend activating the first of the TIF projects. She had an earlier conversation with the board regarding which district should be activated first to provide the best benefit to the city.

Mayor Dustin Winick addressed Seabaugh about TIF activation.

“I guess my main question that I had — and I think you answered — was, as far as enacting the district that takes care of the intersection, if we were to enact it now, it would start collecting [funds] so we would have money when the time comes,” he said. “We’d already have something in the fund to price match with the state. Was that correct?”

Seabaugh responded, “That’s right. It would establish a base, so you would be using the 2017 sales tax base and also the property assessment from the certification of September 2017. So, any increment over that base that would be collected from this point on — if you activate it — would be put in the special allocation fund and could be used for any of the projects described within the TIF plan. Since there is some development happening, or being discussed in that area, that was the one we kind of thought you might want to activate to start with.”

The board unanimously approved the ordinance activating RPA 1.

Later in the meeting, an ordinance to raise the salaries of the mayor and board of aldermen was addressed. According to Alderman Cassie Braddy, the salaries had last been adjusted in 2009. After discussion, the board voted to raise the mayor’s annual salary from $1,500 to $2,000 and the aldermen’s annual salary from $1,000 to $1,500.

In other action, the board approved a bid of $10,070 from Crystal Heating and Cooling for replacement of the city hall furnace; approved acceptance of a free Missouri Department of Conservation pickup truck with tank offered to the Leadington Fire Department by the city of Bonne Terre; OK’d paying for up to four tickets for the upcoming Park Hills-Leadington Chamber of Commerce installation banquet; approved the seeking of bids for additional installation work for placing Ameren light poles in two locations on Penny Lane; OK’d an ordinance adopting and enacting new Chapter 210 offenses; and voted to renew the city’s chamber membership for the coming year.

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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