Third Street TIF District Raises Its Ugly Head
By Jon A. Brake
Ok, to some it is a beautiful head but to others it is still ugly. What was dead is now alive.
Last Thursday, Riley County Counselor Stan Morgan told the Riley County
Commission that Manhattan City Manager Ron
Fehr had asked him to see if the Commission would be open to a smaller TIF District.
The City of Manhattan had been working with Plaza Manhattan, LLC to
redevelop the area between Leavenworth and
Bluemont Ave. and between Third and Forth Streets. The Chicago based company wanted the City to establish a $20-30
million tax-increment financing district for the area.
The largest owner in the area is Steel & Pipe which has a contract
for their five building. Steel & Pipe have been looking to
build a new facility in Riley County.
After a public hearing on May 2 the City Commission voted 4-0 to start
the process. Two weeks later the Manhattan School
Board voted not do anything. That was the same as a "yes" vote.
The Riley County Commission waited until the last day - June 1- to vote
the down. Commissioner Bob Newsome said
before the vote that he would vote for the issue. Commissioner Jim Williams said he would vote against. Commissioner Russ
Frey also voted against.
That TIF District is dead, it can not be developed. Thursday’s plan
calls for a smaller TIF District. It would be between Third
and Fourth Streets and Leavenworth and Laramie. The new plan would cut two blocks off from the north.
This would take out Steel & Pipe, Goetsch-Irvine Chrysler, ExpertTire, Wendy’s and several smaller businesses and homes.
The plan would leave Long John Silver’s, Pizza Hut and several smaller businesses and homes on the North.
This would open the door for Walgreen to build between Bluemont and Moro.
Commissioner Jim Williams said he thought the TIF District was over with and it should not be brought back.
Commissioners Frey and Newsome told the Counselor to continue talking with the City and bring back any new information.
The TIF is alive and well.