Geneva aldermen OK TIF amendment to Village Country Meats

Owner cites increased costs in seeking special allocation of nearly $63K

GENEVA – Geneva aldermen approved an amendment to its tax increment financing redevelopment agreement with Country Village Meats with a special allocation of nearly $63,000 to assist the company with increased electric improvement costs.

Aldermen at the Sept. 7 meeting unanimously approved the special allocation, which will be deducted from the total eligible reimbursable costs, according to the amended TIF agreement.

Before the city can issue a building permit, the owner must pay for the electric upgrades, which were estimated at $62,881.67 – the amount approved in the amendment.

The company has to submit a deposit in the form of cash or a letter of credit to facilitate the completion of the improvements. Instead, the owners requested the city consider a fund transfer to cover the deposit, citing the high cost of raw materials, and seeking relief from the need to borrow and be reimbursed.

“Country Village Meats is seeking a modification to the reimbursement procedures outlined in the redevelopment agreement,” City Administrator Stephanie Dawkins said. “In turn, the redevelopment agreement would be amended to remove the transferred amount from the reimbursable total. Because the city has the needed equipment in stock, such modification will not require capital outlay.”

Economic Development Director Cathleen Tymoszenko said the city does not anticipate any future similar requests.

“There’s no other owes to the city that this would be applicable to,” Tymoszenko said.

In December, the city approved a $551,000 TIF redevelopment agreement with Prairiesburg Holdings – doing business as Country Village Meats – at 715 E. State St.

The building, built in 1950, was formerly the Soukup Appliance store, which closed in 2011.

Geneva residents Paul and Laurie Darrow, of Prairiesburg Holdings, proposed to invest $2.1 million into the property, creating a 3,000-square-foot food store offering a line of meats and full-service deli, including a smokehouse and sausage making operation.

“It’s going a little slower than we thought and that was related to kind of three things,” Paul Darrow said. “The engineering design work took a little longer than we thought. And then when you’re renovating an old building and you find surprises. The lintels were the surprise for us. All the lintels were bad. They’re all rusted out. They had to be replaced. That caused a delay from a timing standpoint to figure that out, and that work has to be done before the rest of the work can be done.”

Darrow said the third problem was lead time on materials.

“If you’re involved in any kind of construction project right now, the lead times are usually double, if not more, on all the materials,” Darrow said. “We anticipate probably having the construction part of the project done in early December.”

In a separate action, aldermen also approved transferring surplus land to Country Village Meats for onsite parking. The property, about 10,000 square feet, had been previously leased to the appliance store for parking.

“Moving the land to private ownership will reduce future public maintenance responsibilities and return real estate to the tax rolls for the benefit of all taxing districts,” Dawkins said. “All existing easements and a new blanket easement for city utilities will encumber the land as needed.”