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FISHER — Fisher, one of the few Illinois communities to show higher population numbers in the 2020 Census, is on track to continue its expansion.

Village board member Debbie Estes said an entrepreneur intends to build a 53-home development on the Champaign County village’s west side.

Estes said Fisher’s population grew from 1,881 in 2010 to 2,062 in 2020 — a nearly 10 percent growth.

“We have demand for people to come and have run out of lots in the new development,” Estes said.

She attributes the growth to the addition of the Heritage Estates subdivision west of Fisher and people wanting to be part of the Fisher school district.

Plus the community is close enough to Champaign-Urbana and Rantoul for jobs.

Fisher officials want to see the growth continue, and to further that goal, they are expected on Thursday night to approve creation of the town’s fourth tax-increment-financing district.

A TIF district is used by to divert future property-tax revenue increases toward an economic development project or public improvement project — often for infrastructure creation.

Taxing bodies within the TIF district continue to receive property-tax funds at the level established at the start of the TIF district.

On Tuesday night, the village board’s TIF finance committee unanimously recommended the full board approve creation of the fourth TIF district.

Estes anticipates full board approval, as all trustees were in attendance at the committee meeting.

“The purpose last night was to consider and hopefully approve asking our TIF group manager, Thomas Jacobs and Associates, to proceed with the origin and completion of TIF 4,” Estes said.

The village’s latest TIF district would encompass 45 to 50 acres on farmland west of the village.

Estes said construction would likely begin this summer.

She said village officials were approached about the development/TIF district creation “a couple of months ago.”

Fisher’s westward expansion began in 2003 when developer Steve Zehr began the first phases of Heritage Estates.

The village created its first TIF district, which expires in 2024, to include part of that subdivision as well as the entire U.S. 136 corridor in town and all of Main Street and the downtown business area.

The village’s second TIF district, which expires in 2033, was implemented to accommodate another development that never materialized on the town’s northeast side.

The district also includes the fairgrounds and ball fields.

The third TIF district, which expires in 2036, includes the remaining part of the Heritage Estates subdivision not included in the first, plus the area south encompassing the Dollar General store and some zero-lot condos, plus the entire school grounds.

Estes said the TIF districts have benefited the community, and not just with infrastructure development for residential expansion.

“I do believe the Fisher school district has been given close to $1 million” in TIF-district money, she said.

She said TIF-district funds have also gone toward several fire department projects and helped “numerous businesses in town and provided exterior upgrades for buildings.”

Our County Editor

Dave Hinton is editor of The News-Gazette's Our County section and former editor of the Rantoul Press. He can be reached at

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