On Wednesday, Sept. 2, the city of Merrill will be holding an organizational Joint Review Board meeting to organize a Joint Review Board, for the purposes of considering a proposed amendment to the project plan for Tax Incremental District (TID) No.3, which covers the Wal-mrt vicinity on the city’s east side.
According to a public notice issued by the city, the proposed amendment is to allow for the TID to share surplus increments with TID’s 6, 7 and 8. In addition, the amendment proposes adding additional territory to the existing TID’s boundaries, amend the project plan to provide for the undertaking of additional expenditures, as well as the formation of a new TID, to be known as TID No.10.
In creating the new TID, the city is proposing the transfer of the former Fox Point building (across from Merrill High School) and Bible Presbyterian Church from TID No.7 to TID No.10.
According to city Finance Director Kathy Unertl, the proposed transfer is a matter of cash flow management.
“Both the Fox Point parcel and Bible Presbyterian Church have been in TID No. 7 since 2009. Both are being deleted from TID No. 7 and moved into proposed new TID No. 10. The Fox Point parcel had an almost $400,000 reduction in assessed valuation in 2014 and is negatively impacting the TIF cash flow for TID No. 7,” Unertl explains.
In terms of the proposed TID plans to transfer funds from TID No. 3 (East Side Area) into three “blighted area” TIDs – TID No. 6 (Downtown), TID No. 7 (North Center Avenue), and TID No. 8 (West Side), Unertl states there will be separate resolutions at meetings of the city Redevelopment Authority (RDA), Common Council, and Joint Review Board to authorize the TIF transfers.
The basis for the adjustment of existing TID boundaries is to assist the city in rehabilitating areas in need within blighted TID’s 6, 7 and 8.
“Unfortunately, the city is still experiencing the impacts of the 2008 economic collapse, as is evident through foreclosures, delinquent tax parcels, and structures needing maintenance (such as new roofs). In addition, there are significant deferred city infrastructure projects that could assist in improving areas, with potential of resulting increased property valuations,” Unertl adds.
The following are criteria proposed for adding or deleting properties into the TID:
• The entire downtown business district since some properties were not included in 2009;
• Tax delinquent properties in all TIDs;
• Rental residential properties with less than $40,000 improved valuation;
• Whole parcels needed to have contiguous TID boundary;
• Owner-occupied residential properties in case that a proposed TIF roofing loan program might be needed to preserve homes; and
• Properties where future city infrastructure projects are planned so that TIF instead of city tax-levy borrowing and potential special assessments might be possible to be used if there is adequate TIF available.
Wisconsin Statutes limit the amendment of TID boundaries to four times. According to Unertl, the current proposal will be the third amendment of TID No. 3 boundary and second amendment of TID No. 8. This will be the first amendments of the TIDs created in 2009: TID No. 6 (Downtown) and TID No. 7 (North Center Avenue).
The Joint Review meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Following the meeting, a public hearing will be held by the RDA at 6 p.m., for the purpose of providing the community a reasonable opportunity to express views on the proposed project plan amendment. A copy of the proposed project plan amendment will be available for viewing in the office of the city clerk at city hall during normal business hours and will be provided upon request.