Gibson City officials take action to remove obstacle for proposed assisted-living facility

GIBSON CITY — City council members have taken action to remove an obstacle that was threatening to slow or possibly derail a planned assisted-living facility.

The problem involved bringing water and sewer utilities to the property from the Phase II development of the Railside Estates subdivision, which meant crossing undeveloped property the assisted-living facility’s developers, Phillips-Warner, did not own.

To resolve the issue, Mayor Dan Dickey called a special city council meeting Tuesday, at which council members voted to loan $250,000 from the city’s general fund to the city’s second tax increment financing (TIF) district for the utility costs.

According to Economic Development Group consultant Steve Klein of Bloomington, the funds should be repaid within seven years of the assisted-living facility being added to Ford County’s property tax roles.

Klein said he based his estimate on the property being assessed for $3 million, but said Ford County Assessor Candice Short indicated the figure could be higher.

Council members also approved the official request to extend the life of the TIF 2 district until 2039. The 12-year extension must be approved by the Illinois General Assembly during the fall veto session.

Klein said he expects there to be no problem with legislative approval, since all eight affected local taxing districts have agreed to the extension. He also said the unanimous vote by each district is “unheard of.”

In the agreement, two groups will see increased revenues over their current TIF 2 inter-governmental agreements.

The Gibson City Fire Protection District will now receive a 0.75 percent share of the future TIF increase, up from 0.33 percent. Klein’s projections show this would amount to a total payment of $299,332.

The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school district will receive 30 percent of the TIF increment, up from the current 25 percent. This should result in the school receiving just over $272 million.

Chuck Aubry, chairman of the council-appointed Assisted Living Committee, said both taxing district were pleased with the new agreements.

Reggie Phillips of Charleston, a co-developer of the assisted-living facility, said his firm expects to close on the purchase of an 8-acre parcel on Gibson City’s north side by the end of this month. He said the firm will not wait for legislative approval before beginning construction of the facility, which could be completed in about 10 months, depending on weather.

Phillips said the firm has seven assisted-living facilities now in operation and five more in development, all known as The Villas of Hollybrook. He invited area residents to this Saturday afternoon’s grand opening of the Monticello facility.


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