By Liz Shepherd
ETNA GREEN — The Etna Green Town Council discussed the possibility of establishing a residential Tax Increment Finance district during a meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
Greg Fitzloff, business development partner with the Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO), attended the meeting to detail how TIF districts work and what the process would look like if the town established one.
A TIF district would help boost residential development by allowing Etna Green to capture new property tax revenue, using it to provide infrastructure for residential development.
Fitzloff said the houses KEDCO is looking into within the proposal are single-family residences.
“These are homes you’d be pleased to have in the community and would increase property values of other residential properties surrounding it,” said Fitzloff. “We need to identify if there’s an interest in the community and I don’t think there’s any question there’s an interest in new homes in Etna Green.”
He said property availability continues to remain a struggle, but that KEDCO has identified property that is workable for establishing a residential area.
“This is land that people didn’t want to sell 10 years ago, five years ago, maybe even a year ago,” said Fitzloff. “Things change. Somebody’s in a different situation, somebody’s doing this, somebody’s doing that. And that’s why we keep talking to people and talking to property owners.”
Due to Council President Keith Claassen’s absence, council voted to table further discussion on the TIF district until the November meeting. Council Member Jason Hanes also said the council would contact the county’s redevelopment commission for further information on establishing a TIF district.
Council also recognized Electric/Water Superintendent Barry Baker and Wastewater/Street Superintendent Andy Cook for their years of service in working for the town. Cook was recognized for his 15-year work anniversary with a plaque. Baker was recognized for his 30-year work anniversary with funds for a trip to a race track in Knoxville, Tenn.; gift certificates from a few of the town’s businesses and a plaque.
Council Member Jason Hanes said every Etna Green business financially contributed to Baker’s recognition.
The council also held a second reading for the town’s 2022 budget and Electric Ordinance 2021-06.
Etna Green’s 2022 budget total is $236,121, with a .7529 tax rate. The budget was adopted by the council. At their September meeting, council voted to make a rate adjustment to the town’s electric service to reflect projected increases. The ordinance will be effective Dec. 21 of this year.
The council’s next meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9.