Monday evening the Plymouth Common Council considered resolutions to add the Veterans Parkway extension project from Michigan Road to Pioneer Drive to the project lists for TIF Districts #1 and #3.
The Marshall County Commissioners and County Council are on board with the project and the Plymouth Redevelopment who would fund the city’s portion of the project are willing to move forward. The Plymouth Plan Commission considered the project and determined that it fits in the City’s Comprehensive Plan and moved it on to the Plymouth City Council for consideration.
The project would be split with the city covering the extension from Oak Drive to Pioneer Drive and the County covering the extension of Michigan Road to Oak Drive. Funding for the project would be shared between the city and county although the city would have about 1/3 of the responsibility while the county would have the largest input.
City Attorney Sean Surrisi told the City Council the city’s share for the preliminary engineering would be $145,000 yet this year and TIF funds would cover that cost. He also said if successful in the grant award the city’s total cost would be about $900,000 and the project would begin in 2027 although it could be moved up as early as 2024.
The Redevelopment Commission has hired Baker Tilly to complete a feasibility analysis on TIFs 1 and 3 for funding of the extension. That study is expected to be presented at the September meeting of the commission.
Plymouth Clerk/Treasurer Jeanine Xaver told the Council Monday evening that she has concerns with adopting the two resolutions that would add the project to the TIF lists without having the analysis information available to consider. Xaver said, “I am concerned that there will not be enough cash flow to fund the project and continue to meet the city’s debt obligations in the TIF areas without causing a hardship to the city taxpayers and to the taxpayers in the overlapping taxing units.” Xaver closed her comments saying, “As the elected officials and government body of the city, I would hope that you would not adopt the resolutions without knowing the outcome of the analyses.
While approval would put the project on the TIF Districts project lists it does not mean the project will move forward regardless of funding.
With only four members present for the meeting, Robert Listenberger, Jeff Houin, Greg Compton and Shiloh Milner, the resolutions needed affirmative votes because the majority of the seven-member council is four. When the votes were cast, only three members voted to add the Veterans Parkway Extension to the TIF project list, Councilman Greg Compton voted against, so the resolution failed.
A public hearing was planned for the August 17th meeting of the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission meeting on the Veterans Parkway Extension project. That hearing cannot be conducted until the Plymouth Common Council passes the resolution adding the project in TIF #1 and 2.
City Attorney Surrisi said he would contact Baker Tilly and see if they could expedite the analysis for the Redevelopment Commission and City Council. The Redevelopment Commission meeting is August 17th and the next City Council meeting is August 23rd. The project needs to be added so USI can begin the preliminary engineering before the application is submitted in December for Federal funding.