Payback time for detention pond's land

Payback time for detention pond's land

Under deal for site that helped secure stores, city owes $300,000 to nonprofit group

DANVILLE — Two years ago, the city of Danville secured land for a detention pond to ensure that the development of the Meijer, Kohl's and TJ Maxx stores on North Vermilion Street stayed on track.

Now, it's time for the city to pay back — at a price of more than $300,000 — the nonprofit foundation that turned over that site.

Vicki Haugen, president of the local economic development agency Vermilion Advantage, said the land deal was a critical point in the development of that whole retail area. Plans may have fallen through if not for the city stepping in to ensure the detention pond would have a site.

"It was a huge risk," said Haugen, adding that it has paid off — all three national retailers remain open and generating sales tax for the city.

The Danville Foundation for Industrial Growth, a non-profit organization that has been involved in other economic development projects in the area for more than 25 years, was the owner of the property where the detention pond needed to be built. In 2012, the foundation deeded that chunk to the city, with payment to come later.

Meijer went ahead and built the detention pond, which also serves the Kohl's and TJ Maxx sites.

Now, the foundation needs its $286,141 for the property. The idea, Haugen said, was for the city to pay the foundation once the three stores began generating sales tax dollars for Danville. But rather than doling out more than a quarter-million dollars at once, the city is proposing it pay the bill over five years, at an interest rate of 4.25 percent, bringing its total to $304,999.

Haugen said the city is proposing a loan through Vermilion County Community Development — a group of banks that formed a corporation in the late 1980s — under a community reinvestment act to make loans for projects that normally wouldn't be applicable for commercial loans.

The issue is on the agenda for tonight's city council meeting, where Danville aldermen will vote on a proposal in which the Vermilion County Community Development Corp. will pay the Danville Foundation for Industrial Growth the $286,141 the city owes for the detention pond, and the city will pay back the corporation $304,999 over five years.

Danville aldermen will vote on the city's proposal at tonight's council meeting. It's one of two noteworthy items on the agenda.

Also tonight, aldermen will consider leasing to Vermilion Advantage available space at city hall. The agency currently leases the second floor of a building at the corner of North and Walnut streets that's owned by Nexlan.

Haugen said Vermilion Advantage has been looking for an alternative site as a way to save money. City hall has space available because several employees were moved to the public works facility on Voorhees Street.

Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said the city would lease first-floor space to Vermilion Advantage for $300 a month, which Haugen said would save her organization $35,000 a year.

If the council approves the move, she expects to be moved in by June 30.

What's on tap

Who: Danville City Council meeting.

When: 6 p.m. today.

Where: Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St., Danville.

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