City looks into creation of business district

The Vandalia City Council on Monday took a step toward creating a business district on the city’s north side.
That action is being taken to enhance the city’s attempts to lure prospects to available areas in that part of Vandalia.
The city council approved an agreement with Peckham, Guyton, Albers and Viets Inc., a planning and economic analysis services firm, for work related to determining whether the city can create an Illinois Business District.
The proposed area for an Illinois Business District is south of Veterans Avenue from the western Interstate 70 interchange to the eastern interchange.
To help explain how the creation of an Illinois Business District would help the city, Mayor Rick Gottman said that the city of Effingham formed such a district in an effort to lure national retailers and restaurant chains to the area along Keller Drive.
The city is paying PGAV Planners $20,000 for its services, which include:
• Prepare a base map of the study area to depict land use and other pertinent data about the study area.
• Conduct field investigations of the existing conditions in the study area to determine the city’s ability to qualify as a “blighted area” under the provisions of the Business District Law.
Visible conditions will be documented in graphic and photographic form.
• Document findings and prepare a preliminary written report on whether or not the study area or portion thereof meets the state law definition of a “blighted area.”
If that preliminary study determines that the proposed area qualifies as a “blighted area,” PGAV Planners will create a plan that includes:
• A specific description of the proposed boundaries of the district, including a map.
• A general description of each project proposed to be undertaken within the business district.
• The name of the proposed district.
• The estimated business district plans.
• The anticipated source of funds to pay business district project costs.
• The anticipated type and terms of any obligations to be issued.
• The rate of any tax imposed, and the period of time it would be imposed.
City Administrator LaTisha Paslay said that it could include an additional 1 percent in sales tax.
The work of PGAV will also include creating projections of tax revenue within the project area, including new revenues generated by the imposition of an Illinois Business District sales and services tax.
The planners will also review and provide guidance to the city for the formal approval process and filing the required documentation with the Illinois Department of Revenue.


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