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Flossmoor looks to establish downtown TIF to help incentivize business development

A downtown Tax Increment Financing district may soon be established in Flossmoor in an effort to attract a prospective developer and assist existing ones.

The village board voted unanimously Monday, Nov. 15, to authorize a study of a proposed redevelopment project area for a TIF district that could be finalized by February. It would mark only the second TIF in the village’s history, with the first to the northeast of the intersection of Vollmer Road and Crawford Avenue already closed.

“I think it’s a fantastic plan and idea,” Trustee Gary Daggett said. “I think TIF is a great tool if it’s not abused, and Flossmoor definitely does not have a history of abusing it.”

A TIF creates a baseline for property value, and then uses any growth in value in the district to reinvest those additional tax dollars back into the area. That is designed to stoke further growth over the predetermined timeline for the project.

In a report to the board, Village Manager Bridget Wachtel said incentives are needed to support a prospective developer who has interest in Village-owned, mixed use property on Flossmoor Road. A TIF was determined to be the “most substantial” method to do that, she reported.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to bring a new development into Flossmoor and also to help our existing business owners improve the facades of their properties and also the infrastructure there,” Mayor Michelle Nelson said.

Per the board packet, the proposed TIF would include properties on both the north and south sides of Flossmoor Road from Sterling Avenue to Leavitt Avenue, as well as properties on the north side of Flossmoor Road from Leavitt to just west of Douglas Avenue. It also includes properties on the east and west sides of Sterling Avenue from Flossmoor Road to near the teardrop island, excluding the Flossmoor Public Library.

Wachtel noted the viaduct on Flossmoor Road contributes to “chronic flooding” and the project area contributes to that flooding. Development of vacant property will need to accommodate additional stormwater detention, she reported. That makes it eligible under TIF as a blighted area — or in the case of the Civic Center a conservation area.

Flossmoor awards water system services contract to Strand Associates
The village board voted unanimously to approve a contract to pay Strand Associates $56,000 for technical services related to a water supply project that would see Flossmoor to get its water from Chicago Heights through Homewood.

Strand is to complete an evaluation of Flossmoor’s water pumping stations to prepare for the transition. The company will also prepare a water source transition plan using the existing water system model, according to a report from Public Works Director John Brunke.

The move has been an ongoing process for the neighboring communities. The plan is for Flossmoor to transition to the new water source in the summer of 2022.

“It’s exciting,” Trustee James Mitros said. “The summer of next year — it’s been a long time coming.”

Other business

  • The village board voted unanimously to approve its consent agenda, which included an amendment to a special use permit to allow Homewood-Flossmoor High School to add lighting to the women’s softball field. One letter of opposition was submitted to the lighting, but the Plan Commission voted unanimously to recommend the amendment.
  • The consent agenda also included approval of a Class B-WO liquor license for Cuvee Consulting, which sells and ships wine. Business owner William Hightower explained the business to the board on Oct. 4, which is to be located in Flossmoor Commons.
  • Nelson appointed Mary Owen-Thomas to the Green Commission. Nelson called her an expert in communications and digital content production who volunteers with the Peace Corps and serves on the board of the Peace Corps Association. The board voted unanimously to approve the appointment.
  • Nelson appointed Calvin Young to the Community Relations Commission. Young is the executive director of the National Guard Association of Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran. He has a background in engineering, and works with teens and young adults on STEM programs and job readiness. The board voted unanimously to approve the appointment.
  • Nelson read a proclamation recognizing November as National Diabetes Month. It is designed to draw more attention to the dangerous condition.

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