E. Dundee trying to block Walmart from Carpentersville money
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Although a Kane County judge recently refused to issue a temporary restraining order that would have blocked Walmart from getting money through a special taxing district in Carpentersville, East Dundee will proceed with additional legal action.
East Dundee's lawsuit seeks to prevent the retailer from getting any financial incentives from Carpentersville's tax increment finance district. A hearing is scheduled Feb. 14.
Walmart plans to close its store in East Dundee and open a super center by 2015 in Carpentersville.
"What the village filed was just asking the judge to make sure that the law is followed as it relates to the TIF and the expenditure of TIF funds," East Dundee Village President Jerald Bartels said. "I would think that Carpentersville would want to make sure all the laws are upheld as well."
Carpentersville Village Manager J. Mark Rooney says the village knows the law.
"The law is very specific on what is allowed and what isn't and we will follow the letter of the law and the spirit of the law," Rooney said.
Last year, Walmart said it would close the store in East Dundee to build a larger store at Lake Marian Road and Besinger Drive. Walmart officials did not specify why the Carpentersville location is more attractive. If the project reaches fruition, East Dundee will lose about $850,000 in annual revenues.
The Carpentersville land lies within a TIF district the board created last year to spur development. In a TIF district, property tax levels are frozen for a period of up to 23 years. As redevelopment occurs and the land appreciates, the increased value is used to pay for improvements or to help defray development costs.
East Dundee is pointing to a part of the law that says a business would not qualify for TIF funding if it moves to another TIF district less than 10 miles away in another town. The proposed Walmart would be less than three miles from the East Dundee site, also in a TIF district.
Carpentersville officials accuse East Dundee of stalling the development, of acting prematurely and of wasting their time and money. While Carpentersville is anticipating a TIF request from Walmart, it has not yet happened, said Joe Wade, Carpentersville's assistant village manager in charge of economic development.
Wade pointed to a second part of the law that says TIF dollars can be spent in the new location if the old location "contained inadequate space, had become economically obsolete or was no longer a viable location for the retailer or serviceman."
"My reaction (to the lawsuit) was why aren't they quoting the full portion of the statute?," Wade asked.
Bartels said he would rather wait to see what happens in court.
"We'll see what the judge says. (Carpentersville) can make that argument in front of the judge," Bartels said. "Both sides will be heard in court and we'll see where it goes."
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