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North St. Louis Northside Regeneration

NorthSide TIF Hearing Should Be Held in Evening When Public Can Attend

The agenda for tomorrow morning’s meeting of the Board of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commissioners contains an agenda item for which we were all waiting:

RESOLUTION NO. 09-TIFC-312 – RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF A “NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING,” TO BE HELD ON SEPTEMBER 23, 2009 AT 8:00 A.M. FOR THE NORTHSIDE REGENERATION TAX INCREMENT REDEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR THE NORTHSIDE REGENERATION TAX INCREMENT REDEVELOPMENT AREA

Many people affected by the NorthSide proposal have been waiting for notice that city government was proceeding with its approval process. Since May 21, all residents and business owners knew were the suggested dates offered by McEagle Properties at a meeting.

However, a TIF Commission public hearing held at 8:00 a.m. is not likely to give many affected residents and property owners the chance to attend and provide input on the project. Of course the TIF Commission is considering only the TIF portion of the project, and its members are not in a position to consider other aspects of the project, but the public is likely to have a few comments on the size of the TIF package, the parts of the project on which the money will be spent and other relevant matters.

The TIF Commission should set its public hearing for the evening, not the early morning. Many TIF deals generate few comments, but the scope of NorthSide demands special care be given to duly including the public. The TIF Commission should not let people hijack the hearing as a de facto forum on the development project itself, but it should allow ample time for relevant testimony.

How about a 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. hearing?

A look at the slide shown by McEagle on May 21 indicates that the project’s approval process is two months behind McEagle’s desired schedule.

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