Residents will have chance to voice opinions



A map has been created outlining a tax increment financing district in Crothersville.

Now, town residents will get a couple of chances to voice their opinions to the newly created redevelopment commission and the town council.

A public hearing is set for 6 p.m. Jan. 2 during the redevelopment commission’s meeting, and another one will be at the start of the town council’s meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 3. Both meetings are at Crothersville Town Hall, 111 E. Howard St.

Town residents interested in viewing the map and parcel information may stop by the town hall during regular business hours.

Brad Bender with FPBH Inc. of North Vernon recently presented the map and parcel information to the redevelopment commission during its second meeting since being established by the town council in October.

A redevelopment commission’s work 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.

At the first meeting Nov. 16, Rick Strong was appointed president, while Lenvel “Butch” Robinson was chosen vice president, and Jerad Sporleder was selected secretary. Charles Densford and Geoffrey Walker also are on the commission, and Ralph Hillenburg, who is on the Crothersville Community School Corp. board of trustees, is a nonvoting adviser, serving as a liaison between the school and the commission.

That night, the commission also directed the establishment of the TIF district, which 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.

The parcels are within the current corporate boundaries of the town. The proposed boundary consists of 247 acres and about 109 parcels owned by separate individuals and corporations with an approximate assessed value of $26,002,400. The usage varies from heavy industrial to commercial, institutional, agricultural and nontaxable.

The boundary runs from the northern edge of town to where the industrial park is located on the southern edge of town.

From the northern part of town to the area of Main Street, it covers from U.S. 31 or Armstrong Street west to the railroad tracks.

From that point south, it stretches from U.S. 31 over to Kovener Street, Park Avenue and Bethany Road and ends just south of the industrial park.

Town attorney Jeff Lorenzo said it’s up to the commission to take a look at the proposed TIF district and see if they want to make any changes. It will need to be passed by the commission and the council, and then submitted to the county plan commission for approval, possibly at that board’s January meeting.

Now that the plan is in place, the town will be ready in the event that someone expresses interest in becoming a part of the industrial park, Lorenzo said.

Both the council and the commission approved resolutions for the commission to borrow $10,000 from the town to use as startup funds. The resolution states that the commission will have an obligation to repay the money once it has revenue.

The money will be loaned on an as-needed basis, Lorenzo said.

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

For 2017, the commission members agreed to meet on the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at the town hall. Meetings are open to the public.

At the Jan. 2 meeting, the commission also will elect officers for the year.

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Crothersville residents interested in learning more about the establishment of a tax increment financing district in town may attend upcoming public hearings.

One will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 2 during the redevelopment commission’s meeting, and the other one will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 3 during the town council’s meeting. Both meetings will be at Crothersville Town Hall, 111 E. Howard St.


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