EM alderman voices concerns about TIFs


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Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2013, 11:33 pm
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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com
An East Moline alderman is asking the Illinois Attorney General's Office and state Comptroller's Office to investigate concerns he has about the city's tax-increment financing districts.

Ald. Dave Kelley, 5th Ward, notified the city he was sending a letter to both offices, listing his concerns. However, hesaid he's not yet contending any of them are actual violations.

"I don't think I'm qualified to say if it's a violation or not," Ald. Kelley said. "It's just my duty to report it."

His first concern was repayment of $550,000 in TIF funds from two city TIFs mistakenly used for expenditures not eligible under TIF rules. He said some of the money has been repaid, but contends the city has no plans to repay all of it.

He also said he's not aware of the city having a TIF joint-review board, which is required for a city with TIFs.

Mayor John Thodos said the city does have a joint-review board, and it met just a few weeks ago.

Ald. Kelley also questioned whether $8,201 spent for dock repair in the Riverfront TIF, and $116,487 spent for "Park Vista Senior Housing Management" in the North Hill TIF district are qualified TIF expenses.

Mayor Thodos said state officials are welcome to "come down here and take a look," at how the city is handling TIF funds, and if they find a problem, the city will correct it.

He said he believed the city is adequately addressing the issue of the $550,000.

In December, city finance director Megan Petersen, said the $550,000 came from theKennedy Drive and Great River Industrial Park TIF districts, and inappropriately was spent for business-development obligations that should have been funded with sales tax revenue.

The sales tax money that should have been used remained in the general fund and was used for operational expenses, she said.

The city has been using property sales revenue to reimburse the TIFs, with the Great River TIF completely reimbursed, while the Kennedy Drive TIF has received about $190,517 and still is owed $313,483, Ms. Petersen said.

The remainder will be paid with whatever general funds can be made available, she said, adding that there is no deadline for reimbursing the two districts.

"When funds come available, we will continue to replenish those accounts," Mayor Thodos said Thursday.

He also said he believes the dock repair and Park Vista payments were allowable expenses and he believed the Park Vista expense was spelled out in the development agreement that created the TIF district.

As for Ald. Kelley's claim that the city didn't respond to his concerns, Mayor Thodos said he believed the $550,000 was adequately addressed in city council meetings, and the city still was working on responses to the other concerns when Ald. Kelley wrote his letter.

A document from the city Thursday indicates that Ald. Kelley's initialquery was made Jan. 3.

It goes on to state that the city's TIF reports have been corrected and that all required 2012 TIF reports have been filed with the state to reflect the issues involving the $550,000, and that those changes have been submitted to the joint-review board.

The report said the joint-review board did not meet in 2011, though it did not specify why. TIF issues from 2011 were addressed in 2012.

Ald. Kelley said he wants to see the review board meeting schedule, minutes and other documents detailing their activities."Show me the list."




















 



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  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.








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