WILMINGTON — City of Wilmington Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker sees a TIF as a great answer to help fund a future paving project.
“This is the most excited I’ve ever been in my professional career,” said Shidaker at Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting when talking about the Rombach Avenue Paving Project. “I’m talking about being an attorney, being in the courtroom, because I know what’s getting ready to happen.”
This project would cover curbs, gutters, and traffic signals — but would be expensive, according to Shidaker. He advised council that they were looking into various grants to fund the project.
“We’ve already obtained the Urban Paving Project Grant which is over a million dollars,” he said.
The other major way to fund it is looking at a Tax Increment Financing (TIF). Shidaker called it a “tremendous opportunity for the City of Wilmington” to collect increase property dollars and put it toward future projects.
Chris Knezevic, a partner of the Vorys law firm in Columbus, spoke about the TIF.
“What TIF would do is help capture some of the increased taxes generated from the improvement for those costs,” Knezevic said. “When it comes to TIF, when it’s enacted, the value of the property and the taxes generated will freeze and stay the same for the life of the TIF. So, for all 30 years.”
The taxes associated with the access value will be diverted into a TIF fund, then those taxes could be used to pay the road improvement costs and other possible projects.
Knezevic and other city officials stressed the schools would not be affected by this. He advised, “The schools would get their amount of taxes that they would’ve gotten if the TIF weren’t in place. It will have no effect on them whatsoever.”
As for the citizens, they would continue to pay their taxes as usual, with the same amounts, but property taxes would be diverted to the TIF fund.
Councilmember Matt Purkey advised while he was a bit “gun shy” about it, he liked the proposal.
“Having researched it … this proposal is very clean, easy to read. It isn’t dependent upon jobs that may or may not come. It’s just the value of properties,” said Purkey.
Council performed the first reading of the ordinance approving the TIF during the Judiciary Committee report. The second and third readings are scheduled to take place at the next council meeting on Jan. 17.
Also during council:
• Members approved a resolution adopting the final legislation for an ODOT Urban Paving Project on State Route 134. The project will resurface portions of State Route 134 from the south corporation limit to U.S. Route 68 within Wilmington. The resolution states, “The City agrees to assume and bear one hundred percent (100%) of the entire cost of the improvements, less the amount of Federal Aid and State funds set aside by the Director of Transportation for the financing of this improvement from funds allocated by the State Highway Administration.”
• During the Water Committee report, Council approved amending part of the City Ordinance related to bulk water purchasing. The ordinance removed the definition of bulk as “greater than 1,000 gallons” and changed the price from $5.56 to $10 per 1,000 gallons. The ordinance also deleted a section that read, “Customers must purchase, at minimum, 1,000 gallons per purchase to establish an account for the purchase of bulk water.”
• Mayor John Stanforth swore in Michael Snarr as Wilmington’s 2nd Ward City Council Member. Snarr was appointed by the Clinton County Democratic Central Committee in December after Michael Allbright resigned due to moving to a different ward. Later in the night, Allbright gave a statement thanking his fellow council members and city employees for all they had done during his time on Council.
• Council President Mark McKay expressed his happiness going into the new year because of a council comprised of people who “take their jobs seriously and have the best interest in the city at heart.”
He added, “I truly do believe this diverse council made up of both men and women, young and older members, of both political parties, will honestly and effectively work together to govern this city in the best way possible.”
• The 2018 State of the City speech and report can be viewed https://wilmingtonoh.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2019/01/State-of-the-City-2018-Final.pdf
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574