Westerville News & Public Opinion

TIF set up to fund Polaris-County Line connector

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Westerville City Council has voted to establish a new Tax-Increment Financing district to fund the $7.9-million extension of Worthington Road between Old Worthington Road and Polaris Parkway, with a north-south connection to County Line Road.

Council approved two pieces of legislation June 18 connected to the establishment of the TIF district.

The first piece of legislation removed the 54 acres planned to become the 504-unit Ravines at Westar from a larger piece of land already within a TIF district. The second piece of legislation created a separate TIF for the Ravines at Westar parcel.

The ordinance establishing the new TIF stipulated that a service fee would be applied to the area to fund the new roadway, a planned park connected to the apartment complex and roadway improvements to the surrounding areas, including to Polaris Parkway, County Line Road, Worthington Road and the intersection of Worthington Road and Polaris Parkway-Orion Place.

As the apartment complex develops, which is expected to happen over the next year and a half, it will pay for its own infrastructure through the tax-increment financing district, Assistant City Manager Julie Colley told council.

With a revenue stream in place for creating infrastructure surrounding the property, the hope is that the development will be able to move forward, said City Council Chairman Mike Heyeck.

"This has been on our docket for more than a year. We've been studying this, and tax-increment financing is a way to develop a revenue stream that funds development," Heyeck said. "Hopefully this development does take off as a result."

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