The Wheeling village board moved ahead Monday toward two big redevelopments - a village Town Center and an industrial area near Chicago Executive Airport - by creating two new tax increment financing districts -- over the objections of four government bodies that asked for a delay.
The two TIF districts -- the Town Center along Dundee Road featuring $100 million in residential and commercial development and the Southeast TIF near Chicago Executive Airport -- replace two districts the village ended last year.
In a TIF district, property tax disbursements to local governments are frozen at current levels for 23 years, the life of the district. Any additional revenue generated by the redevelopment is reinvested in the project.
Wheeling replaced the old TIFs district because their assessed valuations had dropped below what they were when the zones were created.
Four government bodies -- Northwest Suburban High School District 214, Wheeling Township Elementary District 21, Wheeling Park District and Indian Trails Library District -- have threatened a lawsuit unless the village agrees to share new tax revenue from the TIF districts. They maintain the village's action amounts to extending the life of the TIF districts beyond the 23 years allowed by state law.
However, their attorney, Dean Krone of Arlington Heights, said Monday that an agreement is close.
"The districts believe that good progress is being made," he said in a telephone interview. "We think it's likely we'll get an agreement."
Village President Dean Argiris said at the end of the village board meeting that he wants to cement an agreement with the other boards.
"I believe we are really close to that," he said, calling the Town Center development "the most important development in the history of this community."
He said the other boards' request for a delay until each of the four boards could meet came just before 5 p.m. Monday.
Argiris said the threat of a lawsuit jeopardizes the developments.
A $50 million luxury apartment development on the north side of Dundee Road needs an agreement this week, and there must be an agreement within 30 days or sooner to preserve financing for the Town Center development.
The village is ready to sign agreements with those developers promising up to $8.6 million from TIF funds for the town center and $6.5 million for the apartment complex.
Neither Argiris nor officials from the other taxing districts would reveal the current negotiating positions.
The original Town Center TIF district would have expired in 2026 and the Southeast TIF district in 2031.