Posted Online: Dec. 02, 2012, 9:23 pm

Residents turn out for session discussing proposed Genesis TIF

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By Dawn Neuses, dneuses@qconline.com

Photo:
Proposed Phase I of Genesis Health System 41st Street Wellness Campus project. Phase I includes public amenities,infrastructure improvements and a 50,000 square foot medical office building and parking.
MOLINE -- About 60 people attended a meeting Sunday to learn more about a proposed wellness campus in Moline and the use of Tax Increment Financing to assist the project.

Genesis Health Systemvice president of community relations Ken Croken said he believed the meeting went well and was encouraged by the number of new faces in the audience.

"Clearly a number of folks here today did not come to exchange idea or to learn. But a majority of the audience did do just that," he said.

The meeting at the Moline Public Library was attended by residents, elected city officials, staffers and neighbors living near Genesis' proposed development site at 2700-2800 41st Street.

Phase I of Genesis Medical Park Molinewould include an $8.3 million, 50,000-square-foot building to be built by Genesis/Frauenshuh Health Care Real Estate Solutions.The building would hold medical offices, a pharmacy, convenient care facility and space to sell durable medical equipment.

Phase I would also include$2 million in site improvements including parking, landscaping, storm water detention, water and sewer infrastructure and traffic-related improvements on 41st Street.

Up to four more buildings could be constructed in future phases. Genesis owns about 38 acres.

Some residents and aldermen have said they support the development, but have questioned if the city should offer TIF as an economic development tool.

The city council is scheduled to vote on establishment of a 48-acre TIF -- which includes the Genesis property and Moline School District property -- Tuesday.

In a TIF, the assessed land value is frozen when the district is established, and the property tax revenue created by new development goes into a TIF fund. The fund is spent on improvements or tax rebates to developers. A TIF district lasts for 23 years but with state legislature approval, can be extended 12 additional years.

In most cases, the other taxing bodies continue to receive the same tax revenue they received before the TIF was created but usually none of the new revenue until the TIF expires.

However, Ray Forsythe, Moline's planning and development director, said Sunday a proposed development agreement with Genesis -- also scheduled for a city council vote on Tuesday -- offers an opportunity for the other taxing bodies to get new tax increment before the end of the TIF.

Mr. Forsythe said the agreement calls forGenesis to upfront all costs, and as new property tax increment is generated, the city would rebate 75 percent of it to Genesis.

He said 25 percent of the new increment will remain in the TIF account. The city can use that money on TIF-related administrative costs and other things, but any money remaining at the end of the year would be dispersed to the taxing bodies, he said.

According to the proposed development agreement, the total rebate to Genesis for Phase I is no more than 15 percent of the total project costs, or $1.5 million.

The proposed Genesis TIF would not necessarily last 23 years.Mr. Forsythe said when all terms of any development agreements with Genesis are met and all expenses are paid, the city would end the TIF.

Mr. Croken said without TIF, the "project as proposed" won't go forward because of the site's unique construction demands. According to council documents, the rebate is needed to reimburse Genesis for increased costs of developing the site, which was a former landfill.

Mr. Croken said Genesis still would build the first building, as it would be located on a native-soil site. Community amenities, such as the walking trails, would be eliminated.

The Genesis board of directors would decide what to do with the remaining land, and have been approached by developers in the past who wanted the site, he said.

"With us, you know what this development will look like," he said.

Mr. Croken said the questions raised on Sunday show people are not anti-Genesis, but are anti-TIF. "As a population people misunderstand TIF," he said. "If more people understood the mechanics of the financing, they would recognize it is a win-win for all parties."




Moline to hold public hearing on proposed 2013 budget

MOLINE -- The Moline City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2013 budget at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The $130.6 million budget includes a $42 million general fund, which is used on things such as salaries, snow removal, police and fire services.

The 2013 budget is about $10 million more than this year. If passed, the general fund will rise by $2 million.

In other business, aldermen, sitting as the committee of the whole, will review a a request to spend no more than $1.9 million on a professional engineering services contract with Strand Associates Inc.

The water pollution control division wants to hire Strand and Associates to design improvements to the North Slope wastewater treatment plant. Last week, aldermen were given a presentation on $37.6 million in proposed upgrades to the plant, some needed to meet Illinois EPA requirements. 

WPC would pay for the contract with capital reserves. 

Other agenda items include scheduled votes by the city council on a development agreement with Genesis Health System for a wellness campus and creation of a tax-increment-finance district for the project. 

The public hearing and meetings will be held in council chambers on the second floor of city hall, 619 16th St. 

The public hearing will be immediately followed with the committee-of-the-whole meeting. It will be immediately followed with the city council meeting. 

Agendas are available at city hall or moline.il.us.