By Sabrina Westfall
A special session of the Common Council will be April 21 at 5 p.m. to discuss the expansion of the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District to Willow Street, as proposed by the Redevelopment Commission (RDC).
The first reading of the ordinance for the TIF expansion passed unanimously Monday night during the council’s regular session, and the council president Duane Chattin noted the special session on April 21 will open with public comment.
The RDC hosted a public hearing March 20 to discuss the expansion. The RDC has already approved the expansion of the TIF District to include Willow Street from 6th to Niblack. It is up to the Area Plan Commission and the Vincennes City Council to vote on the expansion.
Several members of the city council have mentioned reserves about the TIF expansion, including an impact on Vincennes Community School Corporation, the library and the fire department.
Council member Scott Brown stressed while he does not want to have to raise tax rates on those entities, he remembers a time when a TIF expansion was imposed on the Hart Street area. That TIF expansion proved important years later as the area has grown substantially and the tax funds were necessary.
“The money from the TIF has benefited that whole section of town,” Brown said.
The mayor added, “We need to make sure that money is in the Willow Street are if that develops.”
Council member Chuck Sebring initially brought up his concerns about the TIF expansion.
The Vincennes City Council voted to pledge $185,000 to the repaving of the parking lot in Gregg Park and the road around the park.
City Engineer John Sprague explained the council needed to make the pledge at Monday’s City Council meeting in order to get bids and have the project started, and finished, before the opening of the Rainbow Beach Family Aquatic Center.
Sprague stressed due to the harsh winter, it was brought to his attention just over a month ago the dire need for the issue to be addressed. While there are other roads in Vincennes that need fixed, the road around Gregg Park was addressed separately due to the time sensitivity.
The first advertisement will be April 15 and the second advertisement will be April 22.
The work around the road would include raising the grade of the road four inches with the mill and resurface. Simply paving the road would not be sufficient, Sprague stressed, because the major issue is under the pavement.
He added a chemical modification of the soils will stabilize the ground, which is subject to a lot of moisture, and is the next best option to installing a storm system.
“Short of putting a storm sewer system, which is not possible, this is the next best solution,” Sprague said.
Vincennes Mayor Joe Yochum explained the funds could be paid through the CAGIT fund and city promotional funds.
By Sabrina Westfall