Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005
The Bridgeport News
Harrison County commissioners last Thursday approved a resolution sending the Charles Pointe tax increment financing proposal to the state Development Office for approval. The commission’s nod comes one week after the request was tabled because commissioners had additional questions about the plan.
The vote was somewhat of a surprise, as two days earlier commissioners didn’t believe the issue even would be discussed because of the concerns. But Administrator Robert Andre met with representatives of Charles Pointe developer Genesis Partners to discuss the questions.
Many of the concerns raised by commissioners already had been dealt with by the state Development Office, said Commissioner Frank "Chunki" Angotti, who raised many of the original questions.
Before the proposal can be sent to Charleston, some modifications are needed, said Vince Collins, bond counsel for Genesis. Many of those changes are minor housekeeping, but there is one significant change. The amount of the bonds to be sold for the TIF has been reduced from $188 million to between $150-$155 million, he said.
Most of that reduction is because most of the land to be purchased using TIF funds had been taken off the table, he said. The only parcel left to be purchased with TIF money is about 60 acres that will be set aside for the school system. Genesis has agreed to get an independent third-party appraisal of the land, Collins said. No more than $1.9 million of the TIF is to be used for that acquisition, he said.
But the TIF is far from a done deal. The proposal still must be reviewed by the Development Office, which can modify or reject the plan. It then will be sent back to the Commission, which also must approve the actual sale of bonds.