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Rt. 59, Jefferson St. plan sits with panel

A Joint Review Board for Shorewood’s proposed Jefferson Street and Route 59 tax increment finance district tabled any further action on Nov. 29 that would’ve brought village officials closer to adopting a series of ordinances to establish the redevelopment plan and project.

The measure intends to use the value generated by freezing the property tax base to create new dollars. The board brings together representatives for taxing bodies affected by the proposed TIF district.

Mary Thompson, senior vice president for Kane, McKenna and Associates, said the project could be hugely beneficial to strengthening the village.

Township Administrator Jennifer Dylik said the Troy Township Board hadn’t had a chance to review the TIF proposal, and is interested in tabling the matter.

“We got it very shortly before our November meeting,” she said.

Shorewood-Troy Public Library Director Jennie Mills agreed.

“Our board meeting was November 10, and we didn’t get it before the board meeting,” she said.

The proposed project area includes 173 buildings and 128 of them are 35 years or older.

“The economic downtown has caused an increase of decreases in the equalized assessed valuation for this area in particular,” Thompson said. “We have many, many challenges in real estate alternatives.”

A village engineer report shows that within the TIF district, there is not inadequate space for a storm water system to support new developments.

Shorewood aggregated lagging equalized assessed valuations for four of the last five years, village records show. Additionally, the consumer price index, or rate of inflation, fell three of the last five years.

“This area in particular qualifies as a conservation area, and we believe that is the best way in fact to implement a TIF district,” she said. “(The goal is) to conserve (the proposed project area), so that it doesn’t fall into a completely blighted situation so when you have an area that qualifies as a conservation area, the age is one of your factors.”

Shorewood’s redevelopment plan conforms not only to the TIF Act, but also the village’s comprehensive plan.

Thompson said she wanted it to be clear that village officials have certified that there is no intent to take any homes.

“The wording is such as is provided by the TIF Act,” she said. “It basically states they will not take more than 10… there is no intent to dislocate more than 10 residential units. There is no intent to relocate any residential units, but we have to follow the act.”

Shorewood officials are working to draft a series of ordinances to restrict powers to acquire residential properties.

In doing so, the village is not required to complete a housing impact study.

To date, the village has allotted $79 million toward the TIF budget. None of those funds have been earmarked for capital improvements.

Officials estimate that the proposed boundary of the project could generate $21,133,523, based on the 2015 equalized assessed valuation. Upon termination of the TIF district, projected property values will jump to as much as $42 million.

In a 6-2 vote, the board opted in favor of tabling the TIF redevelopment plan and project until Dec. 20.

If there’s no decision made within 30 days, the proposal receives a positive recommendation. The joint review board typically meets annually once a TIF district is created. At that time, a review is performed and amendments to the redevelopment project can be made.

If supported, the matter will move to the Shorewood Village Board of Trustees where they will hold a Jan. 24 public hearing, at which time residents will have time to ask questions or provide comments. The TIF district can be created two weeks later or up to 90 days thereafter.

If the project receives a negative recommendation, there’s a 30-day window to iron out the details further. Shorewood Village Board of Trustees would also need a super majority vote, or three-fifths of the board’s support, to create the TIF district.

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