Economic Redevelopment Votes for 30 West TIF

Kosciusko County Economic Redevelopment Commission passed a confirmatory resolution Thursday for a tax increment finance district along U.S. 30 west of Warsaw.
The 30 West TIF extends between Warsaw and Etna Green, bordered north and south by U.S. 30 and Old 30. The area is “becoming a major commercial corridor,” said George Robertson, Kosciusko Economic Development Corp. president, speaking in favor of it during a public hearing.
He said establishing a TIF district is critical for generating the funds needed to maintain the county roads that come off of U.S. 30 within the area. The 25-year TIF already contains ongoing development such as an $11 million improvement to Creighton Brothers.
The TIF will go into effect once the confirmatory resolution also is approved by the Kosciusko County Commissioners.
Also Thursday, the commission voted to send a letter to state representatives in hopes of “creating a conversation” about  riverfront development districts. Such districts give establishments a way to obtain a liquor license outside the regular quota, which Robertson and commission members noted is something vital for restaurants to survive and compete for tourist dollars.
Cities including Syracuse and South Bend have pursued the creation of riverfront districts, and Fort Wayne recently sent the legislature a similar letter, commission member Bruce Woodward noted. Member Bill Warren observed that while individual cities that border on waterways have the option, the state taking a “broad stroke” approach would eliminate a lot of the questioning over “why here but not here.”
And Robertson provided a brief year-end review, reporting that 850 new manufacturing jobs and $65 million in new capital investment was seen in 2015. He added he was working on three active prospects during Thanksgiving week, despite the end of the year usually being slow for development, and that he could have another announcement before the end of the year and again in January.