CEDAR LAKE —Three municipal bodies voted Tuesday to expand the tax increment financing district by 33 acres.
During a joint meeting of the Town Council, Redevelopment Commission and Plan Commission, officials voted to move forward with expanding newly annexed commercial real estate.
Town Attorney David Austgen explained the expansion will add to the town’s assessed valuation and TIF increments to be collected by the town when development occurs.
The 33 acres, Austgen said, include 18 lots on a commercial and industrial park in the 13800 block of U.S. 41, on the east side.
Tax increment finance is a means by which municipalities and counties pay for infrastructure intended to promote economic development. A government entity establishes a TIF district and issues a bond to finance infrastructure, such as roads and access to water and sewers, that promotes new economic development.
Revenue generated by the additional assessed value from the development is diverted to pay the bond. Once the bond is repaid, the TIF district expires and the added assessment is available for general taxation.
Council President Randy Niemeyer, R-Ward 5, said he has seen the effects of TIF that “benefit all the community.”
Following the positive vote by all three bodies, Austgen said a public hearing on the issue will be held Sept. 20.
During its regular meeting, the council revised the town ordinance on golf cart usage. The added phrase states that no golf cart may be driven in the town where the speed limit exceeds 25 miles per hour “or wherever the prohibition of the use of golf carts is posted.”
The existing ordinance limited golf carts to operate at a maximum speed of 25 mph, with higher speeds a violation of the ordinance.
Police Chief William Fisher cited a problem with golf carts on the east side of Lake Shore Drive. The carts are causing congestion on a roadway that he said is already too congested.
Town Manager Rick Eberly said the amendment provides flexibility for town officials.
• In other business, the council accepted performance letters of credit for Peoples Bank, Centennial Villas and Centennial Estates.
• Niemeyer also reported the council is working on an ordinance for collection on fire response and ambulance fees, in keeping with insurance company coverage standards.
• The council authorized Fire Chief Tom Wilkening to proceed with grant applications that could provide funding for two additional firefighters in 2022 and 2023.
• The property owner at 13817 Morse St. received approval for the elimination of sewer utility billing.
• Bugaboo’s Bar and Grill, a local business, received permission to operate a beer garden at the town’s Labor Day Fest Sept. 5.