City Council approves TIF district creation

The Rockford City Council resolved to pursue the creation of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district around the former K-mart building on North Main Street. Alderman Daniel Conness (D-14) presented the resolution, which was supported unanimously.

According to an explanation on the city’s Web site, a TIF district is a tool that can be used to redevelop areas where development would not otherwise occur. The city can issue a bond to benefit a depressed area. The bond will help cover some of the costs of revitalizing that area. Then the property taxes from that area are used to pay back the bond.

Rockford Local Development Corporation has submitted a proposal for the area that would include condominiums, a doctor’s office and a restaurant in place of the vacant K mart building. Alderman John Beck whose ward includes the proposed district, stresses that plenty of discussion and planning will be needed before the district is created. “It’s about a three-month process,” Beck said Tuesday, “but eventually [RLDC] will come back to the City Council, and at that time we will try to determine the level of support that we will give them.”

There is some concern that the total cost of the project may not be covered by the revenue created, but at this stage in the process, Alderman Beck remains supportive. The future of the area surrounding the former K mart, at 2601 N. Main St., has been in question since the store closed its doors in 2002 in the wake of K mart’s Chapter 11 filing.

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