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Collinsville city, schools reach preliminary agreement on planned TIF district

COLLINSVILLE – The city of Collinsville and Collinsville Unit 10 school district have announced a preliminary, non-binding memorandum regarding the potential utilization of tax increment financing funds from the proposed Southwest Corridors TIF
district in a manner that the parties say protects the quality of education in the school district.

The memorandum guarantees that Unit 10 will be able to continue the educational programs currently funded by TIF 1 (scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2021) by providing the difference in levied taxes that would have been sacrificed to the TIF district for the provision and continuation of the TIF eligible service of job training for the district’s vocational program.

As the memorandum is preliminary and non-binding, upon successful passage by the City Council of the proposed Southwest Corridors TIF/Business District the City Council will further consider the appropriate legislation that will finalize and adopt the memorandum, officials said.

Collinsville Mayor John Miller stated: “This non-binding memorandum ensures that our school district is able to continue to offer a first class education to our students while eliminating any potential negative funding impacts from the proposed TIF.”

Miller said the success of the vocational program “is overwhelming and this memorandum guarantees it continues into the
future and keeps helping develop a viable workforce for the coming years.”

Miller stated that “as the memorandum is non-binding, I am confident it not only protects Unit 10’s financial interests, guarantees educational success for the district, and grows economic development opportunities for the city, but that it also
represents an excellent opportunity for further partnerships for both the school district and the city to move the community forward.”

The memorandum further outlines how the proceeds of the proposed Business District will also be used to advance Unit 10’s educational opportunities in unison with the city’s goals for economic development for the area. This is achieved primarily through the installation of a fiber data network and the expansion and continuation of the city’s Wi-Fi program throughout the
redevelopment area.

City Manager Mitchell Bair said that “this memorandum is the rare opportunity for the city and school district to partner together and significantly move educational opportunities and economic development forward hand in hand.”

The memorandum “allows the city to mitigate any potential financial impacts to the district and increases the reach of Unit 10’s Chrome Book program.”

Currently, Unit 10 provides Chrome Books to segments of its students and many of these students do not have access to internet outside of school facilities. This lack of access hinders the ability of the program to be fully utilized. The expansion of the Wi-Fi program allows students located in the neighborhoods around the redevelopment area to access the city’s free network.

Bair said that because the redevelopment area includes St. Louis and Collinsville Roads, students in those neighborhoods will be able to access and utilize the network.

Businesses looking to locate in progressive areas view technology and access to data as a “must have,” Bair said. Introducing the development of a city owned fiber network allows equal access to providers and users and brings the fees and costs down substantially, he said.

From the Illinois Business Journal

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