Council approves redevelopment projects
SCOTTSBLUFF — Two local business owners came before the Scottsbluff City Council Monday to discuss Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to help them expand their operations.
Jeff Scheinost, president of High Plains Budweiser, was requesting about $158,000 to relocate an existing storm drain on his property at 2810 Ave. M, an area zoned for heavy commercial use.
“The plan is to expand the building to the north,” said Deputy City Attorney John L. Selzer. “However, there’s a storm drain that runs straight through the property so it can’t be developed further.”
He said the tax shift from the project would increase the property’s value by about $850,000 and bring in about $18,400 a year. Those monies would not be available to local taxing jurisdictions for the 15-year TIF period, but would be used for eligible expenses for the project.
With TIF financing, Scheinost would be able to add some new employees to his current 20, plus add new loading docks to his operation. All the work, including relocating the storm drain, would be completed by local contractors.
“When we bought the lots for our business about 20 years ago, there were no property markings and none were showing up on the easement deeds,” Scheinost said. “It was by accident when the city came out to determine where the sewers were and they found the storm drain.”
The city’s Planning Commission recommended the project, which was approved by council members.
The second redevelopment plan was more complicated. Casey York, owner of Auto Spa car wash, wants to expand his existing business next to city-owned property at the southwest corner of Avenue I and 27th Street.
The TIF funding request was made to allow for placement and maintenance of a new sewer line, water service line and cleanouts, which would run under Avenue I and tie into city infrastructure.
Project approval would increase the property value by about $240,000, generating just over $5,000 annually in new taxes.
The tree line along Avenue I is on city property, where there’s also a traffic control system for the intersection.
“The idea for retaining ownership was in case the city needed to expand the intersection,” Scottsbluff City Manager Nathan Johnson said. “A lot of truck traffic goes through there.”
But council member Scott Shaver wondered that if the city wasn’t planning on building up the intersection, whether it would it be better to sell the property to York. Shaver added it wasn’t wise to allow use of city property that isn’t taxed.
While council members approved the redevelopment plan, they still want to determine what will be the future of the property.