Amy Achs, AP Erie Correspondent
The Village of Erie’s April meeting featured a resignation, TIF district news, and approval of summer hires.
The board regretfully accepted the resignation of Jessica Adams as the SRO working for the Erie School District and the Village Police Department. Adam’s resignation is effective May 25th. Permission was given, pending ECUSD Board approval, to advertise and interview for a replacement.
The creation of a TIF District is moving forward as Keith Moran of Moran Economic Development presented the eligibility study with a map of the proposed TIF District boundaries. The proposed map includes the downtown area, commercial areas, and both undeveloped and developed residential areas. The locations qualify in a number of different ways including poor infrastructure such as buildings, roads, and sidewalks; inadequate utilities such as aging water lines, sewer systems and storm water issues; sprawl, due to lack of community planning i.e. industrial properties next to residential, parking and traffic issues; stagnate property values as compared to other parts of the village; areas that suffer from chronic flooding. While each individual property does not have to be TIF eligible, the area as a whole must qualify and have boundaries that touch on all sides. The feasibility study confirms that the TIF boundaries are targeting the correct areas of Erie to achieve the goals of residential and business growth for the village. The identification of properties began with the Village’s Community Development AmeriCorps intern, Katelin Bridgman, who is overseeing the establishment of the TIF district. Bridgman worked to create a building condition and land use survey early on in her internship which has served as the base for the district’s targeted development.
A motion was made and approved unanimously to place the feasibility study on file for the public to view on the Village Website. Paper copies will also be available at Village Hall. The study will be on file for ten days and then the committee will meet to move forward to the next part of the TIF process.
The TIF District redevelopment plan’s funding guidelines were reviewed detailing where the funds can be used. The money earned can be used to invest in public infrastructure such as general utility improvements, water and sewer improvements, storm water management, resurfacing streets and sidewalks, and to demolish or tear down unsafe buildings. The funds can also be used for economic development such as helping businesses expand and grow, marketing properties, business recruitment, business retention, and repairing/remodeling the commercial downtown. One of the main goals of the TIF District is to provide the community with affordable housing options. The TIF District plan is long term with Keith Moran stating that he was excited about what Erie can achieve.
A Business Development District (BDD) was also discussed which is another opportunity that pairs well with a TIF District plan and allows the Village to collect funds that would go back into the development of the downtown commercial area. It is funded through a small increase of up to 1.0% of the retail sales tax. Businesses can apply for matching grant money from the fund for improvements or development and the BDD would have a 20-year life cycle. No decision was made on the BDD.
A New Look
One Village project that has recently been successfully completed is the revamp of the village website. See a related article and the new website HERE.
A new village seal was approved unanimously depicting a compass center. It is featured on the village website.
POLICE REPORT –Chief Brian Hawk
Approval was given by the board to conduct interviews for a new patrol officer.
Recommended that the village subscribe to Lexipol which provides support for law enforcement and public personnel through up-to-date state-specific policies, online training, and news. Other local communities are using this service and highly recommend it, and it would help the village keep up with all the policy changes at the state level. The service will cost $2,772.00 and was unanimously approved.
Joined the Internet Crimes Against Children web base.
The department had 141 calls this month, conducted 31 traffic stops and investgated1 traffic accident.
Up coming events:
Coffee with the COPS on April 26th at Harvest Bakery & More from 7:00 – 9:00 AM. Feel free to stop by and meet with the Erie Police Department.
National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2nd. More information to come on this as it is currently in the planning stages.
Public Works Department – Supervisor Joel Papineau
Given unanimous approval to hire Terry Sullivan for mowing this summer, effective April 20th and to hire two summer workers at $12.00 per hour, effective May 31st through August 5th.
The board approved an engineering fee of $5,000 for Whiteside County to engineer a plan to asphalt Main Street. The board felt the use of the county’s expertise would give clarity moving forward on properly repairing the street and the approximate costs involved.
Heritage Park – questions and concerns were brought up about the large piles of fill dirt and mulch at Heritage Park which is there for landscaping improvements. It was determined that it would be safer to close the park until the improvements can be completed.
The next Village meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 10th at 6:00 PM.