Redevelopment Commission to elect officers

CROTHERSVILLE

The newly established Crothersville Redevelopment Commission is set for its first meeting.

At 6 p.m. Thursday at Crothersville Town Hall, the board will meet to elect officers — president, vice president and secretary — and determine when it will meet each month. The meetings are open to the public.

Lenvel “Butch” Robinson, president of the town council, is a member of the commission along with Rick Strong, Geoffrey Walker, Jerad Sporleder and Charles Densford. Ralph Hillenburg, who serves on the school board in town, will serve as a nonvoting adviser. They were all appointed to one-year terms.

During a recent meeting, the town council passed a resolution allowing the commission to borrow $10,000 from the town to use as startup funds.

The resolution, presented by town attorney Jeff Lorenzo, states the town authorizes loaning the money to the commission and the commission will have an obligation to repay it once it has revenue.

“Revenue, I would anticipate, assuming we have a project next year sometime, it would not arrive until 2018,” Lorenzo said.

During Thursday’s meeting, the commission will adopt a resolution authorizing the borrowing of funds.

In October, the council passed an ordinance to establish a redevelopment commission in an effort to improve the downtown and industrial park.

The commission will work to foster and promote economic development within the southeastern Jackson County community.

The commission is responsible for developing plans and managing tools to address conditions of blight (redevelopment areas) and underutilized land of economic significance (economic development areas).

A redevelopment commission’s work typically involves identifying blighted areas, designating redevelopment areas, developing plans to eliminate blight and working in partnership with private industry and developers to generate new economic development with increased tax base and new jobs.

“It’s to help this town out in the downtown and at the industrial park to get more business to come to town,” Robinson said during the October council meeting.

The commission’s first order of action will be to develop a tax increment financing district. That is a tool designed to redirect property tax funds coming from new and future developments to finance redevelopment and community improvement projects. It’s a way to get revenue without increasing property taxes.

Robinson said he envisions a TIF district on the east side of the railroad tracks over to U.S. 31 through town, including around the town hall and the downtown.

He, however, has talked to a business owner just outside of town limits who is interested in being annexed into the TIF district.

Lorenzo said the annexation process ranges from 90 to 120 days, depending on whether there are any remonstrators.

Lorenzo said the redevelopment commission may want to take advice from the town council as it figures out what the TIF district will look like.

Seymour is presently the only other Jackson County community with a redevelopment commission and TIF districts.

TIF money has been used in several ways in Seymour, including making street and sewer repairs within the TIF district area, enhancing the downtown and building a new Department of Public Works facility, the Jackson County Learning Center and the Burkart Crossing apartments.

If you go

What: First meeting of the Crothersville Redevelopment Commission

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: Crothersville Town Hall, 111 E. Howard St., Crothersville

Who: Open to the public

Author photo
Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.