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|City Council Intends To Build Infrastructure for Gale Village
|The Galesburg City Council convened for the first time in two weeks where discussion was relatively short - that is, until it came to Gale Village.
Raufeisen Development requested that the City provide a letter of intent to be used for prospective businesses looking to set up shop in the planned subdivision.
With the letter, the City is signaling it's intent to provide infrastructure to the area with the creation of a business development district. Developer Todd Raufeisen says that many communities use the tax overlay tool for development.
"A community that you may be familiar with that has been very successful in using that tool is East Peoria," says Raufeisen. "If you drive through East Peoria, and I recall when it used to primarily be Caterpillar, it is not paid for by the City, it is paid for by the taxpayers that purchase the project within that arena."
The district would pay for the project by imposing a 1% sales and hotel tax within the subdivision's boundaries.
Mayor and WGIL Owner John Pritchard says that there are a number of reasons for only imposing the tax in a small area.
"Only persons that shop inside that district," says Pritchard. "In this case the two retail outlets or if they stay at the hotel - most Galesburg people don't stay at hotels in Galesburg - if they chose to shop there, if they chose to stay in that hotel, they will pay that extra percent sales tax, if they choose to shop somewhere else, they don't pay the tax."
One Galesburg resident asked if the City providing infrastructure to a development was typical - saying that the taxing scheme was a giveaway to Raufeisen.
City Manager Todd Thompson was accused by Third Ward Alderman Russell Fleming of "side-stepping" the question.
Thompson says that the infrastructure improvements are necessary.
"Typically developers are responsible for infrastructure," says Thompson. "There are cases where it's advantageous to create a financing mechanism such as what you have here, but for the development of some sort of assistance to fund the public infrastructure, this project wouldn't happen."
The Council approved the letter of intent by a vote of 5-2.
|06 17 13 by Newsroom
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