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posted: 12/12/2013 5:38 AM

Wauconda to vote on tax breaks for developers

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  • Wauconda officials are considering creating a special taxing district to spur commercial redevelopment in town.

       Wauconda officials are considering creating a special taxing district to spur commercial redevelopment in town.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 

A proposed special taxing district designed to encourage commercial development in Wauconda could clear its final hurdles next week.

The village board is expected to approve a trio of ordinances that would create the tax-increment financing district, which has been in the works for about a year.

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The borders of the zone would create a wedge bounded by Route 176 on the north and Barrington Road on the east. It also would stretch west past Route 12.

Local landmarks in the area include a former Dominick's Finer Foods supermarket on Route 176, a self-storage facility on Rand Road and a Fifth Third Bank on Route 176.

The downtown business district along Main Street is not included in the zone, nor is Bangs Lake or the businesses on its shoreline.

Trustees have publicly voiced informal support for the project. They reviewed the plans during a committee-of-the-whole meeting Tuesday at village hall.

Under the law, officials have until February to create the district, but they don't want to wait that long.

"I think we have done all the appropriate due diligence in terms of researching this initiative, and we've gone above and beyond to get public comment," Trustee John Barbini said. "We feel we're ready to move on."

Typically called TIF districts, the zones are used by municipal leaders to raise money for public improvement projects. This district would be Wauconda's first.

Under the law, tax revenue generated by a property's increasing value or new development is diverted to a special fund that pays for land purchases, construction efforts and other projects.

Wauconda's triangular site was chosen for a TIF district because it's a key element in the town's redevelopment plans. It also lacks efficient road access and has aging infrastructure, among other factors.

Officials hope the district will help lure developers and business owners to the area. They haven't publicly proposed any specific TIF-funded projects.

Some residents and merchants have expressed concern about the impact on businesses and whether the effort will be successful.

The village board will vote on the ordinances Tuesday, Dec 17. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. at village hall, 101 N. Main St.

The ordinances to be considered next week would:

• Approve a tax-increment redevelopment plan and the redevelopment project.

• Adopt a financing plan for the project area.

• Designate the boundaries of the project area.

The proposed ordinances are available for review at village hall. They also can be viewed on the village's website, wauconda-il.gov, along with maps and other documents relating to the plan.

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