Dublin Villager

Bridge Street District

Dublin, school district expected to approve TIF agreement

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An agreement between the city and school district that could get things rolling in the Bridge Street District is in the works.

The Dublin Board of Education and Dublin City Council both have held first readings of a cooperative agreement that could help finance infrastructure needed for redevelopment within the Bridge Street District.

Dublin has been working on a vision for the Bridge Street District which runs along state Route 161 from Sawmill Road to the Interstate-270/U.S. Route 33 interchange, since 2009.

Development is coming for some areas of the walkable, urban-style environment planned within the Bridge Street District, but infrastructure is needed.

The proposed city-schools agreement, which will go before both council and the board of education for a vote next month, will help pay for the needed infrastructure.

"This is a benefit for Dublin, the school district and the community as a whole," City Manager Marsha Grigsby told school board members last week, adding the Bridge Street District will keep Dublin competitive when it comes to luring employers and employees to the city.

"The level of development interest in the city is high," said Terry Foegler, Dublin's director of strategic initiatives and special projects.

"A lot of development can move forward after this agreement is done," he said.

The agreement under consideration by the city and school district would allow Dublin to set tax-increment financing districts, or TIF districts, in the Bridge Street District to help pay for infrastructure needs.

In return, Dublin City Schools would receive $1.5 million annually from Dublin for the next 33 years to help pay for technology needs.

Over the term of the agreement, the city will pay the school district $50 million.

TIFs in the Bridge Street District would use increases in property tax revenues within the TIF district to pay for infrastructure improvements.

"The existing property taxes will continue to come in as they are (to the school district)," said Matt Stout, an attorney with Bricker and Eckler. "The TIF will impact increment increases (on property taxes)."

According to Angel Mumma, Dublin's finance director, the school district currently receives about $580,000 annually in property taxes from the Bridge Street District.

The school district would continue to collect current property tax revenues on any TIF districts created in the Bridge Street District, but any increases in property tax revenues from land in the TIF district will go into a fund for infrastructure improvements.

The district could benefit if property tax increases on land surrounding the TIF districts, Grigsby said.

"As development happens in this area it could increase property values in the surrounding area," she said.

Per the proposed agreement, Dublin will collect all increases on property taxes within TIF districts in the first 15 years of the agreement. After that the city will share 10 percent of the property tax increases with the school, Grigsby said.

School board members had concerns about apartments planned for the Bridge Street District adding more students that could not be funded by property taxes in the area, but Foegler said the housing planned is aimed at young professionals with no kids and empty-nesters.

"Property taxes is how we do business here," Board Member Lynn May said. "That made us a little leery of going forward."

The city, however, has not wavered in its plans for the type of housing in the district, May said, which makes the proposed agreement acceptable.

Dublin City Council and the Dublin Board of Education are expected to vote on the agreement April 14.

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