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Plans for Rt. 59, Jefferson St. redevelopment advance at Shorewood board meeting

Plans for Route 59 and Jefferson Street redevelopment in Shorewood were recently met with support from members of a joint review board affected by a proposed tax increment finance district.

During a Dec. 20 meeting, action was taken to unanimously recommend a measure that intends to spur activity to support the project by freezing the tax base and using new monies generated to advance the village’s effort.

Village Administrator Roger Barrowman said officials worked diligently to address community concerns raised throughout the process.

“It’s a very hard act to follow,” he said.

In October, a number of people spoke out during a public meeting at Shorewood Village Hall.

Barrowman said residents hadn’t raised any concerns since the Nov. 29 joint review board meeting.

The village intends to create the TIF using guidelines outlined for conservation areas based on a set of qualifying factors, including deterioration, obsolescence and inadequate utilities.

In 2015, the village’s assessed valuation for properties located in the redevelopment project area generated approximately $21,133,523. That number also follows a declining trend as officials have noted an 18 percent lag in property values since 2009.

Shorewood officials intend to allot approximately $79,000,000 toward costs to support the TIF.

Village records show future projections increasing to between $37 million and $42 million as set forth by the TIFs creation over a 23-year period.

The joint review board consists of members representing taxing districts, including Shorewood-Troy Public Library, Troy Township and Joliet Township High School District 204.

Terry Barry, of Shorewood, serves as the public member of the joint review board.

In accordance to the TIF Act, one representative must be a resident residing within the proposed project area.

Barry said he supports the effort to redevelop Route 59 and Jefferson Street.

“I think it’s good for the village,” he said. “I think it’s going to bring needed improvements into the area that’s specified by the TIF zone.”

Barry added that the powers of a TIF could be beneficial to the community in an economic sense.

Barry said he didn’t possess all that much knowledge regarding TIFs until the process started.

“I read everything over when I received it,” he said of the TIF proposal. “I had enough time to go through the material and I’m supportive of it.”

Barry has been a resident of Shorewood for 56 years. He said generally, residents will agree with the board’s decision to pass a positive recommendation.

The Shorewood Village Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing at their Jan. 24 meeting, at which time residents may ask questions or make comments. Officials could look to adopt the TIF after 14 days or up to 90 days later.


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