Council approves amendment ordinance

By Charles Menchaca

The Urbana City Council approved an ordinance Monday night to amend The Downtown Tax Increment Finance (TIF) 1 Plan.

The plan encompasses the “Redevelopment Project Area,” a core downtown area of Urbana, said Development Specialist Ryan Brault. According to the ordinance memo, the plan relies on increased assessed values and taxes from the project area to pay for the cost of redeveloping other projects.

Brault said the ordinance does not raise taxes but reallocates the existing revenue. Tax revenue increases in the project area will be reinvested back into the area instead of being redistributed throughout all of the city’s tax districts.

The amendment extends the term of the TIF to 2016 and will allow future development projects to reflect other changes in the downtown area, Brault said.

“I think TIF 1 has been a tremendous success for our downtown,” said Bruce Walden, chief administrative officer.

Walden said the city’s original TIF 1 Plan was originally passed in 1980 when there were only three TIF districts in the state.

The ordinance is set to receive a final vote at next Monday’s meeting.

In other news, Urbana resident John Chato came before the city council Monday night to request a new recycling program. Chato read from a statement that the Illinois Student Environmental Network suspended their battery recycling program due to lack of funds.

Alderman Ruth Wyman said she talked to Rodney Fletcher of U-CYCLE about receiving an update on the recycling program. According to the City of Urbana Web site, U-CYCLE is the city’s residential recycling program.