THE BRIDGEPORT NEWS
by Jeff Toquinto, NEWS EDITOR
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Apresentation on whether or not Tax Increment Financing (TIF) at the 2,000 acreCharles Pointe site will be a bust or a boon for the city of Bridgeport willtake place at the Feb. 14 Bridgeport City Council meeting. Initially, it was reported the meeting was tohave been held at this past Monday’s Bridgeport City Councilmeeting.
“The consultant will go over the methodology in coming up with hisrecommendations,” said City Manager Kim Haws. “Basically, it will go over the long-term impact for the provision ofservices in the TIF area, particularly the residentialareas.”
Haws said he’s already reviewed the study. He said it is generally favorable with a fewexceptions. He said a lot of the studyis based on Charles Pointe’s development being built out asplanned.
The study, which was done by Municap, Inc. of Baltimore, was paid forjointly by the city and by Genesis Partners, the group responsible fordeveloping Charles Pointe. The reasonfor the split in cost is that Genesis Partners would like to see the CharlesPointe site turned into a TIF District. Keenan Bell will handle the presentation which could last up to 45minutes.
A TIF District effectively freezes the values and uses the tax dollarsfrom that site for the purposes of infrastructure. West Virginia approved the development toolduring a recent state election after many other states had opted to do the samething. Two projects – Charles Pointe anda project at Pete Dye – are the only ones considered for TIF in Harrison Countyat this point. The status of the PeteDye project is up in the air and may not take place. However, it has nothing to do with theproject that is planned for the Charles Pointesite.
The report is expected to answer questions any member of the City Councilmay have about committing Charles Pointe as a TIF District. The reason for the concern likely stems fromthe fact that the TIF District is in place for 30years.
City Recorder Mike Conley was the most vocal of those concerned about TIFbeing a problem in being able to provide services to Charles Pointe, as well asother parts of the city. While othermembers of the Council were concerned, they opted to do the study in order toremove or reinforce any concerns on creating the TIFdistrict.