DeKalb Joint Review Board OKs TIF 1 ending early

Voting members confirm consensus

DeKALB – The city’s Joint Review Board is officially recommending that the city of DeKalb end the tax increment finance district known as TIF 1, a year early.

During a brief Friday afternoon meeting, the board members gave reports regarding the TIF decision and their respective municipalities. Terminating TIF 1 in 2021 rather than 2022 will allow taxing bodies to collect as much funding from surplus in one year as they would over 16 or more years of TIF 3 increment, according to the agenda materials.

DeKalb County Administrator Gary Hansen said his board, similar to the other taxing bodies’ boards, gave consensus to end TIF 1 early, but were wary of the city allocating surplus monies to certain projects.

"There's still concern of projects approved very late in TIF 2, and strong [concern] that the [145 Fisk Ave.] hotel project should be turned over to
TIF 1," Hansen said.

The plan could turn the 24,000-square-foot building at 145 Fisk Ave. into a 40-room boutique hotel, with three levels for lodging, and the 18,000-square-foot lower level into a small restaurant (for both hotel guests and public use) and utility space.

The City Council has since earmarked $2.5 million in TIF proceeds from TIF 2 to help fund the project, which is estimated to cost a total of $7.1 million.

City Manager Bill Nicklas said the city still is reviewing the project.

“I’ll carry that message to council,” Nicklas said. “With respect to the project, there’s more work to do, and we’ll follow up and report on the progress of that consideration.”

The review board set future meeting dates for the fourth Friday of April, July, October and January, the latter of which will serve as the official Joint Review Board meeting of each year, mandated by the state TIF Act.