Brownstown shapes up new redevelopment commission



A majority of the members of the newly formed Brownstown Redevelopment Commission are solidified.

During its meeting Monday night, the town council unanimously approved the appointments of Scott Butt and Gregg Goshorn to the commission. Goshorn is the council president.

According to the ordinance that was passed during the meeting, the town’s municipal executive, who is Goshorn, makes the other three appointments and also picks a nonvoting member from the Brownstown Central Community School Corp. board of trustees.

He chose Kim Lucas and fellow council member Sharon Koch for two of the appointments but decided to wait on the other two members until getting a few more questions answered.

Once those members are selected, the redevelopment commission will figure out when to meet.

None of the commission members are paid, and each has to sign an oath of office at the town hall.

The redevelopment commission will work in partnership with other entities to generate new economic development with increased tax base and new jobs. It also will identify blighted areas, designate redevelopment areas and develop plans to eliminate blight.

Plus, the commission will be responsible for establishing a tax increment financing district. That involves capturing tax money from new industrial development or increased property values in the district and setting it aside to fund infrastructure or redevelopment or provide incentives to promote economic development in a community rather than being distributed to other taxing units.

A TIF gives local governmental entities a chance to complete public safety or quality of life projects that attract investments, which increase the overall property value. The district also could attract capital investment and new residents.

Creating a redevelopment commission and TIF district also would allow the town to offer tax abatements.

During a Brownstown Plan Commission meeting Nov. 13, the board will consider approving the TIF declaratory resolution and economic development plan.

Town officials are working with Reedy Financial Group of Seymour to get everything set before the end of the year.

“One thing we’ve learned recently is that as long as the first (redevelopment commission) meeting happens before the end of the year, where you adopt the declaratory resolution and plan, if you have the rest of the new meetings within 30 days of the end of the year, you can still have the same base year, 2019, and capture that first year,” said Mac Carrier, who works in the economic development division for Reedy.

“You’ll be able to capture a whole year sooner, so you’ll see value a little bit sooner if we get it done,” added Condel Bowen, who works in the same division.

That will be a plus for the town because it usually takes a while to capture money from a TIF district.

In Reedy’s review of Brownstown’s proposed TIF district, Bowen said there are more than 200 parcels within the town limits. The map shows the district running along the U.S. 50 or Main and Commerce streets corridor and including commercial and industrial properties. Part of it also goes south on State Road 135 to the edge of town.

Carrier said Reedy will work with the town to come up with a list of projects to complete with money generated from the TIF district.

“It doesn’t have to be specifics,” he said. “Very general is usually how the language goes as far as improvements. Street improvements, facades, things of that nature is usually what I see.”

Seymour and Crothersville are the only other Jackson County communities with redevelopment commissions and TIF districts. The county also is considering setting up TIF districts.

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What: Brownstown Plan Commission meeting

When: 6 p.m. Nov. 13

Where: Brownstown Town Hall, 200 W. Walnut St., Brownstown

Who: Open to the public and press

On the agenda: Consideration of approval of a tax increment financing declaratory resolution and economic development plan for the town, a petition to rezone a parcel in the 700 block of North Main Street from residential (R-10) to highway business (HB) from Jay Deckard and a petition to rezone a parcel in the 900 block of North Main Street from residential (R-10) to highway business (HB) from Ryan Scott


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