Gibson City's second TIF district extended 12 years

GIBSON CITY — City council members endorsed a resolution to extend the city’s second tax incrementing financing (TIF) district for 12 more years.

Mayor Dan Dickey said it will now be up to other taxing bodies to concur before an ordinance making the extension official is brought before the council at a future meeting.

If approved, the extension would mean that TIF 2 would expire in 2039 rather than 2027.

Newly seated Alderwoman Jan Hall said TIF districts are “a very good thing for the community” as a development tool.

Hall is the liaison to the council-appointed Assisted Living Committee. She said both interested developers need TIF incentives to make their development proposals financially viable.

Hall said the extension would help “anything in that area” within the boundaries of TIF 2 on the city’s west and north sides. The area encompasses Falcon Pointe and Railside Estates subdivisions, along with some business and industry.

The Illinois TIF Act allows original districts to run for 23 years, with one 12-year extension allowed if approved.

“Buy Gibson City” over in nine days
This year’s promotion to stimulate retail sales in Gibson City was used in just nine business days according to Dickey. The sign “GONE” has been on city hall’s front door since Saturday, when the balance dipped low enough that Dickey said he called a halt to allow for last Friday’s purchases to still qualify.

Beginning May 1, those who bought a single item for $100 or more that qualified for regular sales tax had only to show their receipt at city hall to receive a rebate of four $25 Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce Bonus Bucks. The Bonus Bucks may be spent at any participating retailer by Sept. 30.

Dickey said the city had the money for the promotion because it lives within its budget and wants to use the program to have the city invest in the local economy.

Range improvement approved
Council members approved a cost not to exceed $16,790 of TIF 3 funds for Opperman Construction of Pontiac to install concrete retaining walls on the police department’s pistol range.

City Superintendent Randy Stauffer said the firm was the only company to bid the project and while the labor was more than he had estimated, but cost of steel was lower. Overall, the cost exceeded his estimate of $15,000.

The overall cost is much lower than it would have been if the walls themselves were not being donated by a firm in the Streator area. That firm is also providing the

A-frame style transport carriers for the walls. Trucks and drivers from the Gibson City area will volunteer to do the hauling.

The work is necessary for two main reasons according to Police Chief Steve Cushman. The first issue is safety for the buildings and personnel of the adjacent water treatment plant. Cushman said a broken window and chips in the building already have resulted from range firing.

Cushman also hopes the improvement will help the range achieve state certification to train gun owners when the state’s concealed carry requirements are finalized.

“We’re about providing service to the people,” Cushman said of range. He noted another self-defense training class for the public is scheduled this Saturday.

CDAP loan approved
As expected after last council meeting’s discussion, a Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP) loan was approved for Gibson City Meat & Deli LLC. The loan amount of $20,000 is payable over four years at a 2 percent interest rate.

The firm, which is co-owned by father and son Randy and Steve Arends of Melvin, plans to sell locally-produced meats in bulk along with deli sandwiches, baked goods, and specialty coffees in the former Alexander Lumber location at 107 S Sangamon.

Golf cart drivers admonished
Golf carts drivers on city streets were reminded by Chief Cushman that they must follow rules or risk being ticketed.

Besides having the proper markings and lights, the carts must pull over to let cars pass and may not cross state highways.

There have been no accidents reported, but Cushman said some unsafe practices have been observed.

Bathroom vandalism addressed
Another round of bathroom-destroying vandalism has prompted an 8 p.m. closure of bathroom facilities at the North and South Parks. An exception will be made for special event dates. Parks themselves will remain open until 11 p.m.

Besides automatic locks on timers, officials are also considering increasing lighting and adding security cameras near the affected areas.   

Cushman emphasized that rewards of up to $1,000 will be paid to individuals who provide information leading to the arrest of vandals.

He said his department is working hard to patrol the park and catch the offenders.

“Sooner or later we’ll put a stop to this silliness,” he vowed.

Committee appointments
New committees and chairpersons were ratified as appointed by Dickey, with two changes to be made in the future.

The changes will correct two errors, noted by Hall, which had retiring Alderwoman Bette Lain still listed as a member of the Parks and Building Committee and another committee had only three rather than four members.

Committee chairpersons are: Laura Miller (ordinance), Scott Davis (street and alley), Dean Kidd (health, light, nuisance and police), Nelda Jordan (finance), Dennis Pardick (personnel), John Carlson (water and sewer), Jan Hall (parks and buildings) and Barb Yergler (economic and industrial development).

The major non-council chair appointments are: Tracy Epps (CDAP), Angie Funk (swimming pool board), Marty Nuss (zoning board), Mary Timm (planning commission), Dan Dickey (TIF committee), Mike Carley (range committee) and Chuck Aubry (assisted living).

Text messaging to be considered
An item tabled to “old business” may soon be up for discussion. Using text messages in addition to phone calls to notify participants of water issues, safety alerts, and other communication is still being investigated. Alderman Scott Davis said he is comparing packages from several companies, including the firm currently providing the alert calls.

Meetings scheduled
Chairman Jordan set a finance committee meeting to plan the budget May 20, and a Police, Health, Light and Nuisance Committee meeting was set for May 21. Both meetings will be at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

Alderman Dean Kidd reminded members of the Pool Board meeting scheduled for May 15.

New member seated and retiree recognized
New Alderwoman Jan Hall was sworn in by City Clerk Carla Moxley. She was elected April 9 to replace Bette Lain who has stepped down after eight years of service to the council.

Following Monday night’s meeting, a small reception was held in Lain’s honor.


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