Savanna receives IEDA funds, talks old and new TIF district

SAVANNA – Finance Committee Chairman Bill Robinson said during the City Council meeting March 14 that the city had received $379,566.52 from the EDA, representing that agency’s 20.3 percent reimbursement for previous construction, engineering and administrative costs, paid by the city or with IDEA loan funds.

The council also approved resolutions allowing developers Scott Behrens of Riverside Dental and Mark Klein of the Answer Fitness Center to possibly qualify for TIF funds.

The council approved removing certain parcels from the city’s new TIF area, including Sullivan’s, ShopKo, and Law Jones Funeral Home. These properties would remain under the old TIF area, from which the city will be receiving funds for 3 more years. If these are included in the new TIF, this funding will be cut off and would delay receiving the new funds.

Mayor Peg Haffey said that it was her understanding that at the end of 3 years, these properties could be annexed into the new TIF area.

Robinson moved to approve an ordinance, and to waive the second reading. Alderman Jeff Griswold questioned why it was necessary to waive the second reading, when the purpose of two readings is to inform the public and let them have a chance to voice concerns before final passage. He specifically asked if Law Jones Funeral Home had any objection to being removed from the old TIF. “if they already said ‘no’, it’s a done deal,” he said. “If they haven’t said anything, I don’t think we should waive the second reading.”

Community Funding and Planning’s Dan Pepin said he had not heard anything from Law Jones saying it wished to be included in the new TIF district.

The motion failed, with Griswold, Christine Lee, Jim Friedenbach, Samantha Ritchie and Lisa Robinson voting no, and Bill Robinson and Aldermen Pat Sanchez and Chris James voting yes.

A subsequent motion, approving the first reading only, did pass, with Friedenbach, Griswold, Ritchie, Lisa Robinson and Lee voting “aye” and Bill Robinson, James, and Sanchez voting “no”.

The council also:

• Approved payment of loan and grant disbursement funds for the wastewater treatment plant and in-system sewer projects, drawing from the IEPA loan and the EDA grant. Williams Brothers will be paid $498,988.12 and $284,870.56, MSA Professional Services $31,495.30 and $27,363.55, and Community Funding and Planning Services, $3,000. All of these would be paid from IEPA loan funds.

• Approved EDA grant funds requested, as follows: Fischer Excavating, $122,434.94 and $55,170.00, MSA Professional Services, $1,500.00 and $1,000.00.

Total of all these draws: $1,025,822.47.

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