“This is the first step to begin the bond process,” he said. “If everything goes to plan we will close on the bond April 25. And we should break ground on the police station, if that happens, around the first of June.”
Before the bond on a new police station could be entertained, the city had to go through a multistep approval process to amend the economic development plan for the TIF district.
Bond resolutions — for the Falls Landing TIF to total $3.5 million, and for the Inner City Roads TIF, the bond amendment totaled $9.5 million — were amended by the commission in December and January to include the new police station and the city’s stormwater conveyance system.
Merkley explained the process to amend the economic development plan started with the redevelopment commission, required approval by the planning commission and the city council, before coming back to the redevelopment commission for a final approval.
In addition to the resolutions for the police station, two additional resolutions were approved that included a list of projects that would be the first step in the aforementioned approval process.
“Just because there’s a project on this list that’s going to be in this plan, that does not mean the project’s going to occur,” Merkley said. “Even if the project’s on the list the commission is still going to have to appropriate the money.”
A list of 23 projects was originally presented to the redevelopment commissioners, but several changes were requested.
Commissioner James Lake offered his hesitations on including a project to construct Allison Brook Park and The Preserve — construction of a nature park planned between the Meadows and Kingsfield subdivisions.
After going through the project list one by one, two projects that are already ongoing were added to the amended economic development plan and only one was removed. The projects added to the list were for work ongoing along Hamburg Pike and for the ramp construction on the Big Four bicycle and pedestrian bridge.
The project removed was The Preserve, adding a total of 25 potential projects to the amended plan.