The Harrisburg Tax Increment Finance District No. 1 Joint Review Board reconvened its meeting from last week Thursday to discuss how the remaining funds from the Harrisburg Tax Increment Finance District No. 1 would be spent.
Only representatives of the County Board and the City Council were in attendance.
Citizen-at-large of the Joint Review Board Steve Ledbetter attended by phone.
All of the other taxing bodies were not represented at the reconvened meeting.
This indicated their agreement with the city's plans, according to Mayor Eric Gregg.
Gregg described each of seven projects he would like to fund and presented their cost. The list of projects and costs follows:
- Sewage Treatment Plant-EDA grant (City portion) at $500,000
- Veterans Drive water main extensional $96,000
- Veterans Drive sewer main extension at $400,000
- Ford/Lieberman Road extension at $750,000
- McIlrath/Lewis Street extension/access road at $225,000
- Misc. water main/meter repair, replacement, extensions at $300,000
- Reservoir Repair/Excess flow storm water and lagoon overflow at $100,000
As the meeting progressed it became apparent that the representatives of the County Board agreed with spending the TIF money on all of the projects.
Joe Jackson and Danny Gibbs were representing the Saline County Board. Since the County Board had not taken a vote
on the issue during its regularly scheduled meeting, no vote by the County Board was possible Thursday. A procedural requirement had prevented the County Board from voting at its last meeting.
Mayor Eric Gregg said, "We are trying to spur development on the North side of town. We think it is the best way to grow the city."
Danny Gibbs said,"There is another offer on the Leberman and Ford streets property that is contingent on the roads being built."
Two members of the county board are also associated with schools — Mollie Wilson-Dearing as Harrisburg school board member and Gary Siebert as Eldorado school superintendent. Both have voiced opposition to spending the TIF money on additional city projects and instead dividing the TIF money between the taxing bodies which would be a boost to Harrisburg school district.
Gibbs said, "I wonder if the two school board members on the County Board should have to abstain from voting due to conflict of interest."
Mayor Gregg announced that there will be a meeting 8 a.m. April 30 at City Hall when the public can weigh in on the TIF issues.
Harrisburg School District Superintendent Dennis Smith said Friday morning, "We have gone on record that we are not opposed to any of the proposed projects but we prefer that they distribute the money to the various taxing bodies. The mayor told me that we the school board would be entitled to $1.1 million dollars. That is my understanding."
Page 2 of 2 - The complete list of taxing bodies is Saline County Board, Harrisburg Public Library District, Harrisburg Park District, Southeastern Illinois College District No. 533, Harrisburg Community Unit School District No. 3, Harrisburg Township, Harrisburg Township Road District, Harrisburg Raleigh Airport Authority and Saline Valley Conservancy District.