By DEBORAH GERTZ HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- The Pittsfield City Council continued work this week to annex properties in a proposed second tax increment financing district.
Aldermen Wednesday accepted petitions for annexation from Edgewood Farms LLC and Fred and Leila Stickman for properties near the city's new water plant.
City Clerk Cindy Prentice said annexation ordinances will be prepared, and must be approved, for each property.
Both properties are on the north side of U.S. 54/Ill. 106 in the area targeted for the new TIF.
The new district will connect with the city's existing TIF district near the Lowry Motel, then will continue west along U.S. 54 past the city's new water plant at Underwood Corners and take in area on both sides of the highway. Several of the properties in the area already are in the city limits, but more could be added.
Most of the property targeted for annexation primarily is farmland with no buildings. As long as the property is farmed, it will not be rezoned.
TIF districts set a "base value" for property in their boundaries, then any increment, or any increase in property values from improvements, goes into a separate fund for 23 years to provide incentives for more improvement projects or local match money for grants.
Bill McCartney, the city's economic development consultant, has said TIF districts are the city's only incentive for new development.
"It's a no-brainer when you start to think about the potential of development right alongside U.S. 54," he said.
AT A GLANCE
In other action, the Pittsfield City Council:
º Gave first and final approval to an ordinance to redistrict the city's four wards. Wards 1 and 4 had the most changes, with population shifts, on the new ward map that will be in effect for the upcoming municipal election.
º Approved a $50,000 loan from the municipal equipment fund to the general corporate fund to help cash flow. Prentice expects the loan to be repaid this month.
º Heard a reminder from Mayor John Hayden that the city will host the county mayor's meeting on Monday, Jan. 14, at the Courtyard Cafe.