Village considers TIF District around airport

By on May 13, 2011

Officials hope infrastructure improvements will spur industrial growth
by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove—The village of Sugar Grove hopes to jump start industrial development in Sugar Grove through the establishment of a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District.

For years, the property to the north, south and west of the Aurora Municipal Airport has been zoned for light industrial and business purposes. According to Village President Sean Michels, High Point Center, one of the properties to the north of Wheeler Road, was annexed into the village and approved for development as a business park approximately 11 years ago.

However, although there has been some interest in the property during this time, no development has taken place. There are also a number of properties in the Route 30 and Dugan Road area that have remained undeveloped or underdeveloped during the same time period.

Michels said the reason is that there is no water, sewer, high speed data access and roadway connectivity to the area that would attract users to the properties, and that the cost of this infrastructure is prohibitive for developers hoping for a reasonable return on their investment.

The establishment of a TIF District would allow the village to pay off the cost of these improvements with the incremental increase in property taxes that would result from the subsequent commercial development.

The village hopes to complete the necessary studies and hearings to establish the TIF District by the end of the summer or early fall, at the latest, Sugar Grove Director of Development Rich Young said.

How a TIF works
The establishment of a TIF District freezes the property taxes allocated to the taxing bodies at the level they were receiving at the start of the TIF. The amount the taxing bodies, including the village, the Kaneland School District, the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District, the Sugar Grove Police Department and others, would receive would remain constant for the life of the TIF, typically a period of 23 years.

The TIF District would be funded by the increase in tax revenues collected as a result of a rise in property values within the district, as well as from additional development in the area spurred on by the initial improvements and growth.

The money collected from the future incremental taxes would go to pay for the infrastructure improvements, such as water, sewer, fiber services and roadway improvements, including a possible western extension of Cardinal Drive out from the Waubonsee Corporate Center to Dugan Road, as well as the extension of Hampton Drive north to Heartland Drive, Michels said.

The Village Board, at a special board meeting on April 12, approved an $18,000 contract to Teska Associates, Inc., to study the feasibility of a TIF District and to create a redevelopment plan for the area.

Next steps
Prior to the implementation of the TIF District, the village will meet with representatives of all the affected taxing bodies to obtain their input and hold a public hearing for feedback from residents.

The Village Board will discuss the plan further at its regularly scheduled May 17 board meeting.