Last week, Mayor Lowry made a statement where he calls out Alderman Friess, Alderman Donjon, and myself over not wanting TIF districts in the City of Red Bud and wanting to stop the expansion efforts of a new industrial park. I’m not sure what I did to prompt the mayors ire on this subject and felt that I need to formulate a response.
Facts of the matter
1) Let’s go over what a TIF district is. A tax increment financing or TIF can be explained as a section of land that can be designated to either build business or housing. In order to be considered for a TIF district, 50 percent of the area must be considered blighted (or rundown area of land). So, the industrial park is approximately 50 acres and Moran Economic Development was hired to find another approximately 50 acres of blighted land that was connected to the industrial park. That is why the mayor wanted to annex the lagoon into the city district because it’s considered a blighted area. However, the lagoon doesn’t fill the requirement of the complete 50 acres. Are we going to include housing, parking lots, or other buildings as rundown areas in order to fill the requirement of 50 acres of blighted area? Would you like your local business or house to be labeled as blighted? I would guess most people would say no. In my opinion, that area of town is not a blighted area. Now, if your house is located next to this lagoon in the city district or in the area then you are considered to be living next to a blighted area and your property values in my opinion will drop. I don’t think anyone wants their property value to drop over living or being next to a blighted area. Also, I will disagree with the notion that Red Bud is a blighted area that needs rehabilitation.
For more from DeMond, please see this week’s print edition.