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Local Government

Geneva to spend $95K on house for redevelopment

GENEVA – Aldermen Monday voted to spend $95,000 in tax increment financing money to buy a house at 617 E. State St.

The money comes from the East State Street TIF district, created in 2000 to promote new development on Geneva’s east side.

Aldermen first recommended approval of the purchase at a Committee of the Whole meeting, then finalized the action at a special City Council meeting immediately afterward. Both times aldermen voted 8-2, with 5th Ward Alderman Ralph Dantino and 3rd Ward Alderman Dean Kilburg absent.

A TIF district is a development tool that freezes assessed value in the designated area. As the area’s value increases, the additional taxes generated are used to provide public improvements.

For East State Street, these include demolition, assembling land for new development and street widening, Mayor Kevin Burns said.

“The property was available for some time,” Burns said. “It was actually available by auction three or four months ago. The price recently dropped to a level we thought was important to invest.”

The property had belonged to the estate of Philip Vincent Chapman, who died in 2007. Burns said the two-story brick house built in the 1950s had been on the market for about $100,000 more before the price drop.

The house is next to the Geneva Firewood and two doors west of Dairy Queen. The city’s goal is to raze the house this spring and have the property available for economic development.

Consistent with the comprehensive plan, the city’s goal is to acquire properties and assemble them to create a redevelopment initiative, Burns said.

“Whether it be commercial, whether it be residential –  it is to be determined,” Burns said. “We stand in far better position to do so than to rely exclusively on small parcels being developed in small ways. It could be commercial, residential [or] multifamily.”

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