City Commission OKs TIF District

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

After years of speculation, and months of discussion, the Bowling Green City Commission put its final signature on the plan to bring a "Tax Increment Funding" district to Bowling Green.

The 40-acre project would house a Minor League Baseball team as well as add commercial and residential development to the downtown area.

The ordinance will speed up what looked to be a twenty-year project.

The "TIF" grant will allow the project to be completed in about
five-years.

Now, it's out of the Bowling Green City Commission's hands.

"The city has approved the development. The county has approved the development. Right now, the developer will sit down and complete the application and take it to the state," said Elaine Walker, Bowling Green Mayor.

All the city can do is sit and wait for legislators in Frankfort to decide if the proposed "TIF" district will actually become a reality.

The commission allowed citizens to voice their opinions at the July 31 special-call meeting.

Local property owner Amy McGowan told the commission that although she's looking forward to the impending changes, they could negatively affect one of her pieces of property.

McGowan owns and is currently trying to sell the now-defunct Taylor's Chapel building on Seventh Street.

The former church would sit square in the middle of the new construction.

"It is encapsulated and surrounded by all the major projects in the downtown district," McGowan said.

However, the commission explained to McGowan that the problem was one they simply can't fix.

"The difficulty is that it's really something that the purview of the developer. They really control which projects they're going to acquire, what pieces they're going to acquire," Mayor Walker said.

Now the commission will just have to wait on Frankfort, but if all goes well...

"Within the next two-years you would see the baseball stadium being built and the parking garage structure for the other developments on our city blocks," said David Butler, Vice President of Alliance Corporation, the projects developer.

Mayor Walker said the major hurdle will be at the state level, since a majority of the funding for the project will come from state money.

$Six-million of "TIF" money will also put the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center one step closer to becoming a reality.

Mayor Walker notes SKyPAC will still have to raise the rest of the needed funding for the project.

The commission also approved Scott & Murphy's Construction to work on Circus Square.

The project should break ground in the next few months and be completed before next summer.


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