by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—After months of planning, public hearings and deliberation, the Maple Park Village Board voted to enact a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district, but not before discussing its size.
The discussion was whether to go with the last proposed TIF map, or a new map drafted to exclude a large area from the northern part of the district.
“It is greatly reduced from the original map,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “(It is) down from an area that would be developed into 400 homes, to an area that would be developed into 100 homes.”
This area was reduced due to feedback from the public.
“This area would produce less of an impact to the taxing bodies,” Curtis said. “Also, we wouldn’t realistically see 400 houses in that area in the next 20 years.”
The reason those 400 lots were originally included was due to the plan of the proposed water treatment plant, which has also been scaled back.
“A water treatment plant of that size is no longer needed,” Village Engineer Jeremy Lin said. “We originally thought it was needed, but looking at a more recent growth projection, it is not.”
The board agreed that the smaller map would serve the needs of the TIF and be better for the village.
“The smaller map is much more reasonable and manageable,” Village Trustee Greg Cutsinger said. “We needed to take into consideration the worries of the taxing bodies.”
The board then voted to pass the three ordinances needed to officially enact the TIF district: the first approving the TIF plan, the second to approve the map and legal description, and the third adopting the TIF for Maple Park.
“The board would like to thank all that have participated in this process,” Village Trustee Terry Borg said. “We listened to the comments that were being made, and took them into consideration.”
Borg also addressed the difficulty surrounding the TIF, and that it was a much longer process than some may think.
“There were two boards, composed of nine different people that have discussed a TIF,” Borg said. “We tried many ways before this to come up with financing, including a failed referendum last March. We made this decision to protect Maple Park, and give it the ability to grow.”
As well as passing the TIF, the board also passed a resolution stating why it enacted the district, as well as its intentions, to provide to future Village Board members.
“It is important (that) future boards understand what we are trying to do,” Curtis said. “We are making decisions for the future of Maple Park.”
The TIF district is in effect immediately and will last 23 years, which is the longest allowed under TIF law, but can potentially be ended at any time with an ordinance.
“To address the concerns of the taxing bodies, this board lives in this village, ” Borg said. “We use these services, and we want to continue having them available to us.”