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Janesville TIF expansion would include GM

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
July 24, 2009
— The Janesville City Council on Monday will consider adding 185 acres of vacant land to TIF No. 26 for industrial development.

The land is being farmed but is zoned industrial and residential.


The addition would put the General Motors plant and several other vacant businesses within a half-mile of TIF 26, making them eligible for TIF benefits.


If the council approves the amendment, it will be forwarded to the Joint Review Board made up of representatives from the city, school district, county and vocational school district.


No public hearing is scheduled, but residents can speak on the topic at the beginning of Monday’s meeting.


“With the closing of numerous businesses in Rock County in the past year and the poor state of the national economy, Janesville needs to remain aggressive in pursuing all development opportunities,” Doug Venable, director of economic development, wrote in a memo.


“The proposed TIF No. 26 boundary amendment will add additional industrial lands that can be improved with municipal utilities and services to attract continued industrial development.”


TIF No. 26 was developed to stimulate the expansion and redevelopment of an older industrial area centered along Beloit Avenue and Conde Street, Venable said.


Seneca Foods, LKQ Star Auto Parts, Rinehart Targets, Tigre and PPG Industries all have expanded there and used the incentives provided by the TIF.


Brad Cantrell, community development director, said the addition would place some vacant industrial buildings within a half-mile of the TIF district. They include General Motors, Gilman and a trucking company that’s vacant on Delavan Drive.


A new state law allows TIF expenditures if a business is within a half mile of the district.


The comprehensive plan adopted by the council this year supports continued industrial development of the land north of Freedom Lane and east of Beloit Avenue, Venable said.


Future development would require new streets, sewer and storm sewer mains.


On the agenda

The Janesville City Council meets at 7 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St. JATV broadcasts the meeting live on cable channel 98 or digital channel 994.


Items on the agenda include:


-- A request from Habitat for Humanity to release the deed restrictions imposed by the city on 1114 S. Cherry St.


In 1998, the city bought several lots west of General Motors to hold for future plant expansion. By 1999, GM had decided expansion was not needed. The city in 2007 donated five lots to Habitat for Humanity.


The group wants to sell the vacant lot at 1114 S. Cherry St. and has negotiated its sale to an adjacent property owner. The money would be used to build a Habitat house at 1120 S. Cherry St. later this summer. According to a city memo, the group needs the money because donations to Habitat have decreased.


City staff recommends releasing the deed restrictions so the property can be sold.



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