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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Harrisburg City Council met February 25

By Kristine Gonzales-Abella | Mar 26, 2020

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Harrisburg City Council met Feb. 25.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

The February 25, 2020 TIF meeting was called to order by Mayor John McPeek. Mayor John McPeek presided over the meeting with Commissioners Raymond Gunning, Rupert Johnson and Ron Morse answering roll call. Commissioners Roger Angelly was absent.

Keith Moran stated this is a continuation of the previous meeting. Keith Moran discussed re- visiting the Business District tax increase. He stated now would be the time to plan for such an implementation. It is a sales tax based program. The sales tax money could be used for general infrastructure, public safety, street improvements and the downtown area. It is all done at the Council level and controlled by Council. This allows the City to increase the sales tax up to 1% in a defined area. The money is then used in that area for improvement. Keith Moran presented a sales tax rate breakdown and comparison. This potential sale tax increase would not affect anything licensed to the State of Illinois business, groceries or medication.

Keith Moran presented a Business District Area map. It is basically the TIF 1 and TIF 2 area. Business District South is not in the Business District Area. The money generated in the Business District is spent in the Business District area. When compared to other areas sales tax, the City of Harrisburg is low. Commissioner Ron Morse suggest the sales tax only be increased.75. This still allows the City of Harrisburg to remain lower than the comparable towns. If 1% is implemented, this could generate one million dollars. Keith Moran stated once the area is set up, a plan will be put together to determine what will be accomplished with the money. This will help a designated area greatly. TIF will still be handled the same, but this is a different program and overlays the TIF District. TIF is a little stricter when using the funds. The Business District funds can help with roads, water, sewer, sidewalks, pump stations, street scape, marketing, industrial park developing, business park development, demolition of structures and several more things. The citizens will be able to see where the funds are being spent.

Commissioner Ron Morse stated that more than half of the sales tax coming into Harrisburg is not even from citizens of Harrisburg. Keith Moran can present some data to include what percentage of sales are coming from outside of our area. Commissioner Ron Morse asked Keith Moran to begin the process the Business District. Keith Moran said we need time to plan. The plan will need to be completed by September 30, 2020 in order for it to go into effect January 01, 2021. Keith Moran suggest doing one Business District at this time and another Business District can be added at a later time.

The Business District is to help raise the funds for most municipalities who do not have a slush fund. The Business District is good for revitalized and additional business space. There are big pushes from rural areas that can be taken advantage of and if we were able to have money leveraged back toward certain programs and get a dollar for dollar match, this would be considerable money. This would help roads, water, sewer, infrastructure and other attributes, buildings to be rehabbed and market our area. Our property is lower in Saline County which is an attribute, but if we are able to put infrastructure in, it will give us a big opportunity to market to outlying areas.

Commissioner Ron Morse said he think we need to stay in line or below our neighbors with the sales tax. All Commissioners agreed with Commissioner Ron Morse. Keith Moran will start working on specifics.

Keith Moran gave an update on the Enterprise Zone. We are still working with the existing zone area and still exist as of today. If the new zone is approved, it will go into effect January 2021. The zone will be scored in May or June and they will make the award in September which will then go into effect January 2021.

Keith Moran suggest thinking about what the City would like to accomplish with the Business District. There are some good projects to get accomplished. Commissioner Raymond Gunning would like to upgrade the pumping station down by the railroad to help flooding. If you keep the water away, it will eliminate some flooding to allow for business to build.

Mayor John McPeek made the motion to adjourn. Seconded by Commissioner Raymond Gunning. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Adjourn: 3:08 p.m.

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Organizations in this Story

Harrisburg City Council