Pittsfield aldermen reject church request, finalize second TIF

Posted: Feb. 20, 2013 8:29 am Updated: Mar. 13, 2013 10:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- The Pittsfield City Council finalized the required paperwork Tuesday night to establish a second tax increment financing district and rejected, again, a request from The Crossing to locate in the industrial park.

The church has been meeting in one of the former JDL buildings in the industrial park and wants to continue holding services at the site, but that's not allowed under the park's covenant.

Aldermen approved motions rejecting churches as a permitted use and as a special use in a light industrial district.

"The city said it would help them look for a place, work with them to find an alternative," City Clerk Cindy Prentice said.

But city officials have made clear, for now, that the industrial park is not a viable site for the Quincy-based church.

Mayor John Hayden broke a 4-4 tie vote two weeks ago, voting down plans for an ordinance allowing churches as a permitted use in the industrial park. The church made the request again hoping aldermen might change their mind, but this time, only Alderman Dick Ervin voted in favor.

Crossing officials were told before December that using the industrial building as a church did not comply with the park's covenant and that they would not be able to stay in the space. The church had been looking for another site, with one option another industrial park building.

Also Tuesday, aldermen gave first reading and final approval to ordinances outlining redevelopment plans and projects, redevelopment project area and tax increment allocation financing tied to the new TIF district.

The ordinances had to be finalized by the end of February, so Tuesday's meeting "was for us to get everything signed and sent off," Prentice said.

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 were in the city limits, and others have been annexed.

Aldermen finalized an ordinance annexing the remaining portion of the Dyno Nobel property next to Pittsfield Tire. The front portion of the property already was in the city limits, but annexing the rest will help clear the way for the second TIF.