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Topeka defining potential TIF area

Looking to have money available to tackle projects through the downtown area, the Topeka Town Council was asked Monday to define what areas they would like to see placed in a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district.

The idea to put the downtown area into a TIF started with the building issue on the corner of Main and Lake streets. The town realized it had no means to fund work in that area. A TIF fund would store up money that can be used to do work within the defined areas.

The council was told that the cost to set up a TIF district would be nearly the same regardless of how much area is placed in the district.

The council decided that it would like to place all of Main and Lake streets in the district, going one to two blocks on either side of those streets.

Town Attorney Bill Eberhard was directed to work on setting up the TIF district. He told the council that it will be toward the end of the year before a TIF district is able to be formed.

In other business:

The council voted to put $3,000 toward the Fourth of July fireworks and capped the amount the town can use for the event at $3,000.

It was announced that there will be a public hearing on rate increases for hydrant fees at the next council meeting.

Bids are being sought for a new fire truck. Bids will be opened at the July 8 council meeting.