Batesville City Council members gave a nod Feb. 11 to move forward with plans to develop a proposed new Tax Increment Financing district.
In 2010, Batesville leaders created a 57-acre TIF allocation area located between Interstate 74 and State Road 46 from the eastern edge of Hillcrest Estates to the road leading to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Cemetery. It also includes a portion of the interstate, McDonald’s and an adjacent lot plus the west side of S.R. 229 from Frontage Road past Alpine Drive to land north of FCN Bank and Guys and Gals Quarters.
The proposed new 398-acre TIF district would include acreage north of S.R. 46 and east of Batesville High School (86 acres of this is the Hillcrest golf course on the east side of Mitchell Avenue to Tekulve); north of the existing district along S.R. 229 toward Oldenburg, such as the former drive-in, Nobbe estate property and new Margaret Mary Community Hospital Physicians Center; and the downtown area.
According to the Batesville Redevelopment Commission’s Economic Development Plan, “Batesville and the greater Ripley and Franklin county areas have experienced high unemployment rates over the past three to five years with business closings and downsizings.”
New investment and job creation are top priorities for city officials and are the reason for the expansion of the Batesville I-74 Economic Development Area, which includes properties suitable for greenfield development, existing properties suitable for expansion and investment and the downtown business district.
The total estimated cost for infrastructure improvements in the expanded TIF area is $7.35 million. The principal road project will be the reconstruction of Frontage Road that currently provides access to four businesses on the southeast corner of I-74. The private drive is not built to current Batesville street standards.
The document lists other possible improvements: upgrades to the wastewater line capacity with a new pipe extended under the interstate; upgrades and enhancements to the entryway corridor; upgraded streetscape; construction of a gathering center, trail head and restrooms downtown; improvements to Walnut Street; connectivity of the I-74 interchange to downtown with improved sidewalks, signage and access for bicycles and pedestrians; improved pedestrian connectivity on the north side of I-74; improvements to S.R. 46 between S.R. 229 and Huntersville Road; and improvements to S.R. 46 with pedestrian access on the north side.
Declaratory Resolution 2-2013 was adopted by the Batesville Redevelopment Commission Jan. 21. The Batesville Advisory Plan Commission voted Feb. 7 that it fits within the city’s comprehensive plan. Mayor Rick Fledderman revealed that the existing TIF district has produced about $21,000 in property taxes for the city so far.
The BRC will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Feb. 26, before voting on a final confirmatory resolution.
According to a timeline revealed by attorney John Gregg, a partner at Bingham Greenebaum Doll, Indianapolis, who is advising city officials on the process, the council will vote on whether to approve the final resolution March 11. If it is OK’d, it will be recorded by the county recorder and filed with the county auditor and Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.
• A public hearing was held on the sale of easements to Enterprise Pipeline. City attorney Lynn Fledderman said the price agreed upon by both parties was well above the required average of two appraisals. They included $8,000 for 0.18 acres; $14,000 for 0.26 acres; and $32,750 for 1.62 acres, all located on tracts of land near County Road 1400 between Coonhunters and Delaware roads. The fourth was for $87,500 for 0.33 acres by the industrial park area and Merkel Road.