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LaGrange looks to expand North TIF

The LaGrange Town Redevelopment Commission (RDC) adopted a resolution on February 21 that will start the process to expand the Northern TIF (Tax Increment Financing) area in the town, with an eye to finance future improvements.

The RDC was presented with a plan that includes the area to be expanded. A public hearing will be held at a town council meeting in March. If approved by the council, it will go to the LaGrange County Plan Commission for approval.

The area will extend south from the town hall along SR 9 to North Street, then west to High Street. From there, the district will go south to US 20, then back east to Poplar Street, before going back north to Lake St. and over to SR 9. The expansion would take the current TIF district, which goes from near the town hall north to CR 200N and east about half a mile, south to US 20.

The focus of the new TIF area would be the downtown area, the RDC was told. The plan presented with the resolution included sanitary sewer improvements along East Michigan Street, with an estimated cost of $350,000, with an additional $1 million in improvements to the waste water treatment plant. Drainage improvements along East Michigan Street were also included in the plan.

The largest portion of the plan included downtown improvements, which would incorporate rehabilitation and beautification projects. This could include work on building facades, remodeling, new construction, and work on historic structures, along with lighting, sidewalks, and utility work. The rough estimate included in the plan for downtown improvements was listed at $3 million.

Another $1.6 million was estimated for additional proposed street lighting and sidewalk work through downtown LaGrange.

The RDC was told that TIF funds could also be used as matching funds for grants.