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Developer requests TIF district extension
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NEWSTRACKER: ORION

Developer requests TIF district extension

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WHAT WE KNOW: One of the possible beneficiaries of the Orion TIF district is Prairie Knoll subdivision, whose co-developers are Kim Herold and Jim Massa. The village has been at work for nearly six years trying to extend the TIF district another 12 years.

WHAT'S NEW: Herold has asked the village to consider extending the TIF district for just a couple years rather than 12, saying without the extension they wouldn't be able to get fully reimbursed for all their expenses. The finance committee considered the request at its July 15 meeting and decided to take it to the full board. The board talked in a zoom meeting Monday about revisiting a longer extension of the TIF, with Village President Jim Cooper saying the village needs to reach out to Herold and get an agreement for a developer's incentive to offer to homebuilders.

"My opinion is that's the only way this is going to be successful," he said. Village attorney John Ames said the other taxing districts might be persuaded to agree to the extension, knowing it's good for helping the school district maintain its census, among other things.

"Their sacrifice is pretty small, I think, compared to what could be gained by the entire community," he said.

WHAT'S NEXT: An informal closing will be Wednesday on the Dan Diamond property, also known as the former bowling alley on the southeast corner of town. Cooper asked Trustee Neal Nelson to have Street Superintendent Neil Dahl clean the property of weeds before a proper excavation.

Trustee Mel Drucker asked for a reexamination of what it would take to make the existing village hall more secure and to provide more storage space, noting he's heard a rumor the library may be moving from downtown.

"You remove two important elements, I just don't think it bodes well for the operation of the rest of the businesses on Main Street," he said. Cooper said the village wasn't "locked into anything" with the Diamond property, and would have "no trouble marketing that property for any other kind of business if we choose to market it."

The finance committee is to talk about the issue at its next meeting.

LISA HAMMER/rlhammer15@gmail.com

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