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Five Fifths TIF plans tweaked ahead of vote

Revisions are designed to respond to objections raised by some residents to the TIF proposal.

Parcels on the west side of Green Bay Road, from the car wash just south of Foster Street to the homes just south of the former rail tracks south of Simpson street are one of the areas suggested for redevelopment in the TIF plan.

City Council Monday is scheduled to vote on five measures related to creation of a new Five Fifths tax increment financing district in portions of Evanston’s 5th Ward.

One resolution calls for subdividing the tax parcel containing the Civic Center and Ingraham Park and seeks to remove the park from the proposed TIF district.

That responds to fears voiced by some residents that the park area might be redeveloped for some other purpose during the life of the TIF, but it also would precludes using TIF funds for park improvements.

Another resolution provides a set of project goals for the TIF — including:

  • Providing repairs and improvements to existing residential housing.
  • Creating new affordable housing at neighborhood density levels and providing funds to repair existing privately-owned affordable rental units.
  • Providing workforce development programs for small businesses.
  • Upgrading neighborhood infrastructure including water and sewer lines, streets, sidewalks and bike and walking paths.
  • Improving public facilities including the Fleetwood-Jourdain Center and area parks.
  • Supporting business districts with storefront modernization programs and streetscape improvements.

That resolution also asserts that TIF district funds will not be used to fund eminent domain, neighborhood clearance, a new civic center, luxury housing or expensive microunits.

Both the inclusions and exclusions on those lists are designed to address objections raised by some residents about the proposed TIF district.

A map showing the boundaries of the TIF district, before the planned removal of Ingraham Park, and indicating — with diagonal lines — five areas that city staff believes could be redeveloped at some point during the TIF’s 23-year lifespan.

Up for introduction are three ordinances approving the TIF redevelopment plan, designating the TIF project area and adopting the tax increment allocation financing program for the TIF.

The redevelopment plan envisions spending nearly $90 million in incremental tax revenue over the 23-year life of the TIF.

The largest budget items in the plan include $24 million for public facilities and improvements, $13 million for public improvements and infrastructure improvements and $10 million each for construction and relocation of public buildings and statutory payments to the school districts.

The plans also anticipate that incremental tax revenue from the area would gradually increase, reaching $2 million annually by the fifth year of the TIF.

The ordinances, if introduced Monday night, will still require a final approval vote at a future City Council meeting to take effect.

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