Williamsburg Council votes ‘no’ to TIF incentive
By ANDREA FURLONG
Dollar General will not receive a $40,000 incentive to build its first superstore in the Midwest in the City of Williamsburg.
The council denied a request at its May 10 meeting by prospective business owner Matthew McQuillen for $40,000 of Tax Incremental Financing Funds (TIF) toward construction of a superstore north of Keokuk County State Bank. Council members said they were uncomfortable in setting a new precedent of awarding prospective businesses with TIF funds prior to construction.
“Without us having a long-term economic development plan, I would decline this current offer,” said council member Alan Grier.
Council member Marty Bunge also pointed out that when the council has given TIF funds to businesses in the past, it has been as a rebate and has gone to businesses that brought new jobs into the community.
“There are no new jobs that are being created by this and it’s going to happen regardless,” Bunge said.
Council members were also alerted by mayor Frank Murphy to consider that an unidentified business plans to make a request for TIF funds in the near future. Murphy and city attorney Eric Tindal also informed the council there will be upcoming workshops regarding the possible redistricting of the city’s TIF district.
“There is a growing amount of tension between the amount of TIF district we have and the amount of properties in the TIF district and the ability that you could use those funds if they were flowing into the general fund, as opposed to the TIF district projects,” Tindal said.
• The council approved a readjusting the boundaries of the future site of the Williamsburg Public Library by VJ Engineering, due to private property included inside the original boundary line. The square footage of private property within the boundary is unknown at this time.
• The council approved a gift of 100 feet of city sidewalk worth approximately $1,000 from Garth and Vickie Von Ahsen. The sidewalk is located on the corner of State and Wilson streets.
• The council approved giving VJ Engineering authorization to adjust the plans for water drainage at the Williamsburg Child Development site so that all drainage is installed on city property and not overlapping adjacent private property.
The next meeting of the Williamsburg City Council will be held at 7:30 p.m., Monday, May 24.
UPDATED May 18, 2010 12:45 PM