Effingham Daily News
TEUTOPOLIS — Economic development was a hot topic at Wednesday's Teutopolis Village Board meeting.
A split board voted to set a public hearing for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 6 to consider placement of the proposed West Main Street redevelopment area into a tax increment financing (TIF) district. The hearing is mandated by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which oversees TIF districts throughout the state.
TIF is commonly used throughout the United States to provide an incentive for development of an area that might not otherwise be developed. In Teutopolis' case, the village is seeking to create a TIF district for the development of 20 acres on the west end of the village, west of the Dollar General store.
Village President Greg Hess said the village needs to take advantage of any economic development mechanism it can.
"It's going to create new business in town," Hess said of the proposed TIF district. "We hope to make an industrial park on that land.
The Wooden Shoe Development Corporation bought the 20 acres recently. Hess said three businesses have tentatively agreed to occupy the land, though he declined to name them pending finalization of terms.
Not everybody on the board favors the sometimes-controversial TIF concept. Board member Kenneth Esker, for example, said he voted against setting the August public hearing because of constituent feedback.
"Several people have told me they don't like the idea of it," Esker said.
Also Wednesday, the board agreed to pay Followell Construction of Marion $645,878.77 for work on the Teutopolis to Newton water line. Consulting engineer Shannon Woodard said much of that cost covered materials that were being stored during construction of the line.
In other action Wednesday, the board:
• Bought a Husqvarna PZ 54 mower from Performance Lawn and Power for $8,500.
• Agreed to close U.S. 40 between Pearl and John streets for the Terquasquicentennial Bed Races set for 6 p.m. Aug. 1, and between Harvester and John streets for the Terquasquicentennial parade, set for noon, Aug. 3.