WINFIELD | Bike paths were touted as a good use for revenue from the town's new tax increment financing district at Monday's meeting of the Redevelopment Commission.
Joe Gacsy, a Winfield Plan Commission member who attended the meeting as a resident, suggested the idea as a way to allow residents living along 109th Avenue to safely get to the restaurants, stores and library branch on Randolph Street.
Commissioner Karen Pimentel said the bike paths from such 109th subdivisions as Trees, Wyndance and Deer Creek would help young families access more facilities in town.
Getting more people into that central district also would help attract more businesses to the area, said Corky Duquette, a Redevelopment Commission member.
Dave Anderson, a Winfield Town Council member and commission president, suggested that for the May 20 meeting the Winfield master plan be examined and that more information be gathered about bike paths.
“I’ll email Mitch Barloga (nonmotorized transportation and greenways planner with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission) on Tuesday for more information about bike paths,” he said. “Maybe we can bring NIRPC in on this.”
The TIF district, known as the Winfield 109th Avenue and Randolph Street Economic Development Area, was established by the commission in February and includes all commercial and business properties along those streets within the town’s borders.
A TIF district generates income only from commercial property taxes, not residential taxes. The funds can be used for infrastructure improvements in the district and to attract more businesses to town. The money will be controlled by the Winfield Redevelopment Commission.
Revenue from the TIF district will be based on future increases in assessed value. The baseline is the 2012 assessed value determined by the Lake County assessor’s office and sent out March 31, said Rick Anderson, Winfield clerk-treasurer. How much money the district will bring in will be determined by the county’s 2013 assessment released in 2014.
Dave Anderson said, “We need to start planning how to use the dollars we will receive from the TIF."
The money the town initially will receive won't be enough to fund larger projects such as water and sewer improvements, said Thomas Hoffman, a nonvoting member of the Redevelopment Commission representing the Crown Point School Board.
“We need to start small," he said.
Two major focuses examined by the Redevelopment Commission are ways to bring residents into the business district without having to drive and how to attract more businesses to Winfield’s town center at 109th and Randolph.
One idea that drew a lot of positive comments from the Redevelopment Commission members was bike paths.