Tri States Public Radio Staff
Wed August 5, 2009
New State Law Benefits Downtown Macomb
Macomb, IL – Macomb now has permission to continue using a key development tool.
The state agreed to extend the life of the city's downtown TIF district by 12 years. Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill August 4. It took effect immediately.
Mayor Mick Wisslead credits local taxing bodies for agreeing to support the TIF district. He also credits State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) and State Representative Rich Myers (R-Colchester) for guiding the measure through the legislature.
Property owners in TIF districts pay tax money but it does not go to local governments. Instead it's reinvested in the TIF area. Wisslead says in this case, money left over after projects are completed will be split by local governments.
Wisslead says the TIF district could provide money for needed work around the courthouse square. He says that includes street and drainage improvements.
"When you're looking at possibly a million dollars to resurface the square, we just can't save up enough in the short period of time in order to get something like that done," says Wisslead. "So TIF allows us to go out and bond something and then the money comes from the TIF district to pay off the bonds."
Wisslead says TIF money could also help with historic preservation projects. The city's new historic preservation district has basically the same boundaries as the TIF district.
Wisslead says one project he would like to start working on is restoration of the West Central Illinois Arts Center building on the east side of the square. The WCIAC bought the building about one year ago. It might require a great deal of money to restore the building, which was not well maintained in recent years.
Wisslead says the city is still working to create a separate TIF district that would include Chandler Park, the old Lamoine Hotel building, the train depot, and the West Adams Street corridor. He hopes to have that done by mid-October.