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MCEDA consolidation plan progresses

BY Paige Conley - pconley@perutribune.com

The Miami County Economic Development Authority made headway on their “Consolidated City of Peru Development Plan” during the Peru Common Council meeting Monday evening in which council members voted to adopt the resolution.

The resolution, presented by MCEDA Executive Director Jim Tidd, proposed combining two previous development areas, which include the U.S. 24 and U.S. 31 area as well as a portion of downtown Peru to better utilize Tax Increment Finance funds.

“Basically what this entails is it helps us provide a little bit more flexibility in the tax increment financing districts that we currently have,” Tidd said.

Along with consolidating under one economic development plan, MCEDA is also proposing expanding into the Peru Industrial Park as part of the overall consolidated plan for the city.

“What this does is provides more flexibility for us to be able to support projects under the state statutes,” Tidd said. “If you have revenue that is generated in a TIF, it can only basically support that TIF, unless it is determined to be contiguous to other TIFs.”

An example Tidd provided for the council included when MCEDA expanded U.S. 24 Broadway to downtown Peru using the public right-of-way on Broadway Street.

According to Tidd, what they’re doing now is providing that contiguous continuity among the TIF areas from the Peru Industrial Park.

With the council’s approval, this includes using the U.S. 24 right-of-way that would connect through Broadway down through the city to the TIF in downtown. It would then connect their west end property through the Wabash River as a public water way which is consistent with state tax laws.

“That way what we can do then is be more flexible,” Tidd said. “If we have a need in the CSX property and there’s revenue that is developed through the Peru Industrial Park those funds can be used to help support projects whether it’s the YMCA, public utilities, water, site development and those kinds of things.”

With the consolidation resolution, the funds generated from each economic development area wouldn’t be constrained by where the tax revenues are generated.

During the meeting, Tidd said with the council’s approval they’d be supporting the development created by MCEDA for the specified economic development areas and will concur with MCEDA’s declaratory resolution which was passed on Oct. 10.

Likewise, with the passing of the declaratory resolution and the approval of the City of Peru’s Planning and Zoning Commission which passed the resolution on Oct. 30, the next step for MCEDA was to gain approval from the common council which they did in a 8-0 vote.

“It’s a good idea,” said councilman Tom Gustin.

Following the meeting, the resolution will go back to MCEDA’s board in which they’ll hold a public hearing for citizens to voice any concerns about the resolution.