Town of Bourbon NewsThe Bourbon Redevelopment Commission met on Tuesday, January 26 when they elected officers and discussed various aspects of Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) districts.

Officers voted in unanimously include Les McFarland, president; Robert Firestone, vice-president; and Athena Stenstrom, secretary.  Additional members are Booby Goodman and Jason Lemler. Teri Barnhart serves as a non-voting school board member. Members serve for one-year terms but can be re-appointed each year.

The meeting was organized by Town Council President Ward Byers. Plymouth City Attorney Sean Surrisi attended the meeting to give an overview of how TIF Districts in Plymouth have helped economic development.

McFarland told those attending the meeting and others watching on-line that Bourbon began forming a TIF zone about three years ago under the direction of the late town Attorney Mark Wagner. McFarland said they also worked with an attorney in Indianapolis to form the TIF as Indiana Composite was making plans to locate in Bourbon and later helped Dollar General build and open. Although zoned commercial, parts of the TIF that are not yet developed are still being used for farming.

Surrisi explained that the property taxes are captured from within the TIF to create economic development and encourage projects that benefit the community. Bourbon received the first payment last year and now has $22, 385.95 in a designated fund.

Surrisi said, “You have to have a good relationship with the Town Council. You need to be on the same page as the vision they have.” He offered several examples of how TIF projects have been competed in Plymouth and Argos.

Redevelopment Commission projects must be presented to the Town Council and be presented to the public in a hearing. Surrisi said they need to hold an annual meeting with all of the other taxing entities such as the library, schools etc.

Byers indicated that the boundaries of the Bourbon TIF Zone can be seen on the town’s website.

Carol Anders Correspondent