IRON RIVER—The Iron River City Council and the Iron River Downtown Development Authority approved a tax-sharing agreement offered by the Iron County Board of Commissioners at a special meeting Feb. 2.
“We believe we have a tentative agreement with the county,” said Iron River Mayor Terry Tarsi.
The dispute concerning disbursement of Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, has been ongoing between the county, Iron River’s DDA and Caspian’s DDA for more than three years, noted Iron River City Attorney Mark Tousignant.
DDA President Jim Gibula said holding back the TIF funds had limited the organization’s ability to repay loans and fund projects.
The negotiating team, he explained, consisting of himself, Tousignant and City Manager John Archocosky, “came up with something we can live with.
“We’re in agreement with the county’s negotiating team. We’ve been mired in this for at least the last two years. We’re pleased to recommend that both the city and the DDA approve this.
“Financially, for the near term,” he continued, “we’ll be back to where we were. Now we can fund future projects that have been put on the shelf.”
Tousignant explained that by agreeing, it was giving up the ability to capture special millages, including operating millages, such as the youth camp, health department and others, and bonding millages such as those financing the Courthouse and jail projects, “forever.”
In exchange, the county will give a supplemental payment of $27,000 for seven years, and allows the DDA to capture all four expansion districts within the city until 2030.
Examples of expansion districts include the Lakeshore/Oldenburg site, and, most recently, Washington Avenue district.
The two boards approved the agreement unanimously, with the stipulation that approval be “subject to exhibits being presented and reviewed by the city manager and treasurer,” as noted by Tousignant. These exhibits include parcel numbers and base of value, he said.
“We have an agreement, so now we can move forward,” said Tarsi.
The agreement will be presented to the County Board for its approval.