Gibson City clears obstacle for assisted-living facility

GIBSON CITY — City council members have taken action to remove an obstacle that could slow or possibly derail a planned assisted living facility.

The problem involved bringing water and sewer utilities to the property from the Phase II development of Railside Estates subdivision, which meant crossing undeveloped property not owned by the assisted living developers, Phillips-Warner.

To resolve the issue, Mayor Dan Dickey called a special city council meeting Tuesday, at which council members voted to loan $250,000 from the city's general fund to the Tax Increment Funding District 2 for the utility costs.

According to Economic Development Group consultant Steve Klein of Bloomington, the funds should be repaid within seven years of the assisted living facility being added to the property tax rolls.

Klein said he based his estimate on the property being assessed for $3 million, but added that Ford County Assessor Candice Short indicated the figure could be higher.

Council members also approved the official request to extend the life of TIF 2 until 2039. The 12-year extension must be approved by the Illinois General Assembly during the fall veto session.

Klein said he expects there to be no problem with legislative approval, since all eight affected taxing districts have unanimously agreed to the extension.

In the agreement, two groups will see increased revenues over their current TIF 2 inter-governmental agreements.

The Gibson City Fire Protection District will now receive 0.75 percent share of the future TIF increase, up from 0.33 percent.

The GCMS school district will receive 30 percent of the TIF increment, up from current 25 percent.

Chuck Aubry, chairman of the council-appointed Assisted Living Committee, said both taxing district were pleased with the new agreements.

Co-developer Reggie Phillips of Charleston said his firm expects to close on the purchase of the 8-acre parcel at Gibson City's north side by the end of this month. He said the firm will not wait for legislative approval before beginning construction, which could be completed in about 10 months, depending on weather.

Phillips said the firm has seven assisted living facilities now in operation and five more in development, all known as The Villas of Hollybrook. He invited area residents to Saturday afternoon's grand opening of the Monticello facility.

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