Peabody City Council convened a public hearing Monday evening with a capacity crowd in the council room at the city building. The hearing was on the city’s agenda in order to give Peabody residents a chance to voice opinions about the formation of a tax increment financing district downtown.
A TIF district would allow the city to capture any increase in property tax from properties in that district for a given number of years after the district is established. Other entities that currently receive property tax assistance from properties within the district will not be included in the division of funds from the increase.
Most of the 20 people in attendance were business or building owners.
Two taxing entities, the county and the school board, have the option of vetoing the TIF plan within 30 days of the public hearing. A veto by either group would cancel the city’s efforts to establish the district, although the city could attempt to establish such a district at a future date.
Peabody Mayor Larry Larsen and Peabody Economic Development Director Shane Marler explained tax increment financing and took questions from the group. The hearing took about an hour and a half.
Larsen said he was pleased with the turnout for the hearing and the level of questions asked by those in attendance.
“I thought it went very well and I was thrilled by the number of citizens who showed up,” he said. “People asked good questions and there was a lot of good information passed out. The group was obviously interested in learning about the issue and offering their opinions.
“There were some questions we weren’t able to answer, but we will be getting some additional information to clear up those inquiries.”
“All in all, we were very pleased with the way the hearing went,” he said.
After the public hearing the council moved on to the agenda for the regular meeting.
In other business:
- Two bids for purchase of the Peabody Industrial Park site were opened. Prairie Lawn Cemetery Board was the high bidder with an offer of $52,127.00. The city also will de-annex and vacate the land.
- The city council approved an ordinance to establish minimum housing codes on a 4-1 vote with Janice Woodruff opposed.
- A barricade request was approved for Keith Wattson to block part of one lane of First Street south of his antique store to “clean out and reorganize” his shop after Dec. 18.
- City Administrator Mac Manning received permission to carry over 10 days of his 2010 vacation to 2011.
- Manning told council members that Jim Ralston of APAC had been to Peabody to look at some paving problems in the 800 block of Plum. APAC has returned to crack seal the problem areas, but Ralston will return in the spring to review the cracking.
- Manning announced there will be a public hearing at the Dec. 27 meeting to amend the 2010 budget.
- Councilman Tom Schmidt informed the council that the new merry-go-round has been installed at the city park.