LARWILL – The Whitley County Redevelopment Commission, Whitley County Economic Development Corporation and town of Larwill announced that an economic development plan and new tax increment finance district will be put into place for Larwill and surrounding area. This will create new opportunities for investment and development in Larwill.
The Whitley County RDC, Whitley County EDC and Larwill have worked together throughout the past year to establish an economic development plan that included establishing the new TIF area.
“The Whitley County RDC was pleased to work with the Larwill Town Council to expand economic opportunities on the western side of the county along the U.S. 30 corridor,” said Jim Argerbright, president of the Whitley County Redevelopment Commission, in a news release. “The commission is looking forward to economic growth in the Larwill area, similar to what we have seen in the past 30 years on the eastern side of the county.”
Overall goals for economic growth as stated in the plan include: attracting new businesses and employment possibilities, improving public space and focusing on improving the quality of life. To attract new investment and development, the Whitley County RDC established the new TIF district.
A TIF district is a public financing tool that supports redevelopment and community improvement projects. Property tax revenue from increases in assessed values within the district is earmarked for those community improvement projects.
One of the main points of focus for the initial TIF area is the extension of sanitary sewer to accommodate projected business growth north of U.S. 30 near State Road 5. Other plans included in the TIF are improvements in downtown Larwill and an expansive area west of town that could open economic opportunities for new business locations. Additionally, an area to the southwest of Larwill near the former middle school may become an additional TIF focused on residential development, taking advantage of recent changes to state law.
As shown on the map, the allocation area is highlighted in stripes. The overall economic development area is highlighted in pink. The TIF may be expanded, or additional TIF districts created, in the overall area as deemed appropriate by the redevelopment commission in future years to accomplish the goals in the economic development plan.
“The creation of a TIF district in and around Larwill will open new possibilities for existing and incoming businesses, as well as providing a tool for improvements in Larwill that have been difficult to accomplish,” Nathan Bilger, executive director of the Columbia City/Whitley County Joint Planning and Building Department, which oversees planning for the County RDC and town of Larwill, said in the release. “We are eager to apply our successful experience from implementing TIF districts in the eastern side of Whitley County the past 30 years to the west side of the county into the future.”
The new TIF district was approved by the Larwill Town Council and the Redevelopment Commission during their December meetings, allowing the capture of increased property tax revenues starting in 2020.