Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meeting Notes April 13, 2009

Technology Park Task Force
Plan To Attract New High Tech Manufacturing Facility to the Growth Cell
Monday 13 April 2009 at 11:00 am
Fire Station 1 at 505 NE Monroe
Meeting Notes

Members Present:

Vicki Clark EDC
Ryan Spain EDC
Sally Hanley EDC
John Whalen State DCEO
Scott Petty State DCEO

Marvin Schoonover City PW
Scott Sorrel Peoria County

Ross Black COP PGM
Bobby Gray COP ED
Susan Schlupp COP ED
Matt Fick COP ED
Craig Hullinger COP ED

1. Introductions

2. Summary of actions to date – Hullinger summarized actions taken to date. We are working to attract a high tech company to Peoria that would construct a million square foot building that would have a market value of approximately $30,000,000 plus equipment and hire 850 employees. This company is sought after by a number of other areas, including Michigan, Ohio, California, and other locations in Illinois.

The City, County, and EDC have shown the business a number of sites. In the City they prefer a Growth Cell site near Route 6 and Allen Road, if the site can be made free or low cost to match offers being made by other States and areas.

3. Site Costs – Marvin Schoonover of the City Public Works presented preliminary cost estimates for the 7 sites in the Growth Cell of Pioneer Park. Cost estimates ranged from a low of $3,225,000 for site 6 to a high of 9,825.000 for site. In addition, the estimated cost for the extension of Pioneer Parkway from Allen Road to Radnor Road would be $10,600,000. Hullinger noted that grants could cover all or a substantial amount of this cost.

The committee discussed seven alternate sites. The company prefers a growth cell site with convenient access to Route 6. The City has identified 7 potential sites that would access Route 6 via Allen Road and Townline Road, and/or Walton, with a secondary access from Radnor Road. Each site has varying costs and benefits. The company has also asked that the City look at another site near the Illinois River. Staff are currently examining this site.

3. Mayors letter – The Mayor has sent a letter to all the appropriate Federal and State officials asking for help for infrastructure costs. This letter will be included with and be a part of the grant submittals.

4. Land Costs - Three of these sites could be acquired by the City or County government with a purchase / donation from the owner for $50,000 per acre. The two available sixty acre sites would cost $3,000,000, with the remaining approximately 55 acre site $2,750,000. The owners would offer favorable terms to the City, with acquisition spread over a number of years. We do not yet have prices for the other potential sites. Owners have been hard to locate by phone – staff has sent letters to all the property owners. We have asked for responses back from these owners in two weeks.

5. Planning & Zoning – Ross Black noted that industrial uses were in accordance with the plan.

6. Incentives - Enterprise Zone, Longer Abatement agreements. Craig Hullinger and Susan Schlupp met with the Dunlap School District, and will meet with Kickapoo and Radner Township. We are proposing that they join in the Enterprise Zone and provide Property Tax abatement. The Enterprise Zone only runs for 4 more years, ending in 2013 with the last taxes payable in 2014. We are asking the State to extend the Enterprise Zone to reauthorize and extend the Zone so we can get the full 5 year abatement. We will also convene the JRB with Dunlap and Kickapoo and Radner Township present to discuss the possibility of a longer abatement agreement. Depending on infrastructure costs, we may ask for 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 years of abatement if that would be required to pay for infrastructure and land costs.

7. Enterprise Zone Expansion - Rachael Parker has started on the expansion of the Enterprise Zone. Sites 1, 2, 6 and part of 3 are already annexed to the City and Enterprise Zone. If one of the other sites is chosen we will annex I tot both the City and Enterprise Zone. And we will prepare to annex unincorporated ground if we can get a very good price on a site that is not yet annexed.

8. The Enterprise Zone would generate nearly approximately $2,800,000 if the Dunlap School District and the Township joins over 5 years. If the State approves the extension of the Enterprise Zone – at present it will end in 2014 the abatement would be 3,500,000. If Dunlap and the Township do not join the four year abatement would be on $1,300,000. This revenue stream could be to purchase the site, and/or as the local match for State and Federal Grants.

9. SSA / TIF Alternatives. Site 1 through 6 can be part of the Enterprise Zone. Site 7 could be placed in a TIF, since it has substantial floodplain. The abatement in the Enterprise Zone goes to the property owner. The City could capture some or all of the cost of site acquisition through the use of an SSA which puts a special tax on the real estate.

10. Potential Stimulus Grants, Federal and State - Bobby Gray and Matt Fick are working with the EDC to apply for grants from the Federal and State to help pay for infrastructure and land acquisition costs. The stimulus bill is creating several possible paths for assistance. EDC has a data base developed for these grants, and will assist in applying for these grants. At present we think we will apply for both DOE and EDA grants. Standards and requirements are evolving for both these grant programs, but it appears that we qualify. Grants can be 20% local and 80% Federal.10 . State assistance for road, utility, and rail extensions – John Whalen researched State DOT programs to determine the amount of help they can provide for road and rail extensions. IDOT would pay ½ the cost of industrial road extensions up to a maximum of $2,000,000. They also pay for a substantial amount of the cost of rail extensions.

11. Free Trade Zone – the EDC will fill out the required paperwork to designate the area as a FTZ. We will seek for all business in the area to be part of the FTZ. Susan Schlupp will work with the City surveyor to complete the legal. Since they need an exact site, we will use Site # 1 which is the favored site.

12. Michigan State Tax Credits. Hullinger distributed a summary of the Michigan Tax Credit program to stimulate the industry in Michigan. The Company advises us that the program is worth $70,000,000. Our Legislators have been provided the Michigan program, and hopefully they will develop a similar incentive program.

13. County Update – Scott Sorrel noted that the County fully supports the efforts to land this expansion in the County. They will participate with the City in efforts to help bring the company to the region.

14. EDC – Vickie Clark and Sally Hanley are assisting with the grant application. The EDC wants this project in the region.

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City Planner, Colonel, Marine Corps Reserve Retired, Vietnam Vet, married to Beth Ruyle