Public hearing date set for TIF

Published 10:24 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A date to hold a public hearing in regard to the establishment of a proposed Tax Increment Financing plan was set at Tuesday’s Picayune City Council meeting.
The public hearing will be held before the July 7 council meeting.
Development of an area off of U.S. 11 is the matter at hand. Laurence Leyens of Urban Development Toolbox said there are several phases local developer Andy Cooper would like to conduct on the development, located next to Highland Community Hospital.
The first phase would entail establishment of a road and other infrastructure in preparation for a Walmart Neighborhood Market. Construction of that infrastructure is estimated to cost $2 million, but Leyens said Cooper has plans to build residential and commercial areas in the 300 acres as well, so suggested the TIF bond could cover the entire infrastructure required to the tune of $6.5 million. Leyens said the land for the new grocery store would be sold to Walmart, estimated to be about six acres.
The TIF bond would eventually reimburse Cooper for 50 or 60 percent of the expenses incurred for building the infrastructure, Leyens said. That money would come from the increased tax revenue generated from the store’s operation and building’s value in the form of sales and ad valorem tax respectively.
If the city and county decide to move forward with the plan, and all of the infrastructure is built to the city’s specifications, then 100 percent of the city’s increased ad valorem tax revenue and 50 percent of the increased sales tax revenue would be used to pay off the bond, Leyens said. The county would use 50 percent of their increased ad valorem tax revenue to help pay the bond off as well.
Leyens said the lifespan of the bond is typically about 15 years.
However, if the project were never completed, the city would not be required to pay back the bond. He used the Margaritaville Casino in Biloxi as an example. The city of Biloxi has not had to pay on that bond since the business closed in September of last year.
No bond has been taken out as of Tuesday because there are several steps that need to take place first. To begin the process the public hearing has to be held.
Mayor Ed Pinero asked that copies of the drafted documents be made available to the general public in preparation for the public hearing. City Clerk Amber Hinton said she could post them to the city’s website or provide hard copies at her office in City Hall.
All councilors approved a motion to hold the public hearing except for Wayne Gouguet.
In other business the council:
— Accepted a landscaping supply donation from Walmart.
— Approved the 2015/2016 security service agreement between the city and the Picayune School District.
The next council meeting will be July 7 at 5 p.m.

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