Bates said he had a couple of
communications this week with the developer's lawyer, James Grice. A
newer proposal, with new tables and figures, that corrects some
misinformation and supplies additional information was given to
council members at Monday evening's meeting. [See previous articles
The stores have revised their
revenue projections. The original retail sales projections were for
a combined total of $5.8 million. The stores are now saying they
expect to generate $6.2 million in retail sales their first year
here in Lincoln.
The new calculations project an
approximate potential of $93,200 in sales tax revenue for Lincoln:
--$62,175 at 1 percent
available for general purposes
--$31,000 at 0.5 percent
available with the new infrastructure tax that kicks in at the start
of the year, although those proceeds have a four-month delay before
they are received. As an example, January sales tax revenue is not
received until April.
The developers are still saying
that the financial layout by the city will be paid off by the sales
tax revenues generated by the new stores in just 10 years. They also
suggest that there will be additional benefits and sales tax revenue
generated by other businesses that will follow those stores coming
in and by the increased property values with the development of a
new business district.
In trying to move things along,
the developer has requested that a public hearing be set for Monday,
Nov. 10. It is the developer's experience that if you establish a
business district or development district, it will help secure
certain types of funding for the project and the funding is easier
to get. You have to have a public hearing before you can declare
something a "Development District."
Two things will be discussed at
the public hearing. First is the public's response to developing a
business district in that area. The property that is being discussed
is 4.5 acres.
Second is to solicit public
opinion about the redevelopment plan.
The council was also asked to
schedule Nov. 17 to declare the property as a Development District
and approve a Development Plan.
At last night's meeting the
council passed an ordinance of intent to issue $665,000 in alternate
bonds to back the project. Agreeing to this, Bates said, is agreeing
to an intent to go forward. It is not a commitment to do the project
or actually take out the bonds. "It starts the process," he said.
This will allow funds to be available by January when they are
A public notice will be posted,
and then there will be the standard 30-day petition period.
[to top of second column in this
To get the bonds issued, the
city must pledge funds to back the bonds, and in this case it is our
current sales tax revenue that will be used. The bond pledges are
based on all of the city's current sales tax revenue. It does not
include the revenue that will be generated by the new businesses.
The bond agreement reads, "If the sales tax revenues for the city of
Lincoln are sufficient to cover this bond issue, there will be no
tax levy to pay. If the sales tax revenues are not sufficient to pay
this bond issue, we will levy taxes to pay this bond."
Based on current income, "The
sales tax revenue of Lincoln will be sufficient to pay this," Bates
The question that remains is
whether the sales tax revenue of the new businesses will be enough
for Lincoln to pay off the bonds in 10 years. However, it is Lincoln's current
revenues that will be put up against the bonds since you cannot pledge the sales
tax revenues from new businesses that do not yet exist, Bates said.
Bates said that at this
juncture the city is indebted to no one, including the company the
city normally does their financing with, First MidState of Bloomington,
nor the bond company that the developer uses, Cutler and
Chapman of Chicago.
One other undetermined element
to the finances is that these will probably be taxable bonds, though
that is not certain yet, Bates said.
There is still some question
about whether the signal light requested by the businesses will be
approved by the Illinois Department of Transportation. IDOT has a
list of eight warrants in evaluating placement of traffic lights,
Mark Mathon said. The council is favorable toward the signal if IDOT
will allow it.
In the event IDOT does approve
the signal device, it is possible that the cost will be covered by
grants or the 0.5 percent sales tax revenue designated for
infrastructure. That cost could then be deducted from the $665,000.
lot of questions remain to be asked and answered in this project,
but city representatives have been working hard at this project and
it continues to hold strong potential toward becoming a reality.
pertaining to public hearing day: The council normally meets on the
first and third Monday and the second and fourth Tuesday each month.
Work sessions are normally on Tuesday, but that Tuesday falls on
Veterans Day. The council agreed and the public is invited to meet
in the chambers at 7:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10.