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Yorkville extends incentive to encourage building of new homes

Yorkville has decided to continue a program to encourage home building in the city.

In a 6-2 vote, the City Council approved extending the program through the end of 2017. The program was set to expire at the end of the year.

The BUILD program pays people as much as $10,000 to build a new home on an existing, platted lot in the city.

The program was developed and put in four years ago when building had come to all but a standstill in the city during the recession. The city pays half of the incentive, up to $5,000, by putting in the fees it would take to bring the house into the city. The home builder matches that with up to another $5,000.

Aldermen Carlo Colosimo and Seaver Tarulis voted against extending the program.

Alderman Ken Koch said the city has been working to review the BUILD program at the committee level.

"It was 3-0 (vote in committee) to give it one more year and then this next year, we would evaluate if we want to cap it, change, modify, get rid of it, whatever," he said. "We thought we get one more year."

Colosimo questioned this, saying, "I thought I heard that a year ago."

Koch said the program provides a benefit to taxpayers.

"I have three subdivisions (in my ward) that have benefited and are healthy," he said. "For that reason and the second reason — and this is the big one — is south side development. I want a grocery store."

More residents will help bring businesses like grocery stores to the city, he said.

Yorkville has issued 295 BUILD permit applications in 2016, compared to 110 in 2012 when the program started.

Alderman Larry Kot said he has supported the initiative from the beginning.

"To me, this is a no-brainer," he said. "I mean the numbers speak for themselves. We keep talking about attracting new businesses. This is the one program that's bringing the rooftops in. Yeah, there's cost to it, but the other issue I look at is how many tradespeople have we put to work with this program, especially when the economy was slower."

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