By Chris Johnson


On Thursday, Aug. 4, the Pecatonica Committee of the Whole determined the idea of bringing new business to the village is what they needed to do.

By a majority vote of committee members in attendance, the plan to allow spending to occur on the research into expanding an existing TIF District in Pecatonica was approved.

This step allowed the Pecatonica Village Board, in special session, to approve the plan to allow Ehlers and Company the opportunity to begin filing the necessary paperwork in the attempt to bring a Dollar General store to town.

Since the investment into the expansion of the existing TIF District has been allowed, committee members learned that the $29,000 price tag will be recoverable from monies that will be raised in the proposed TIF District.

Maureen Barry, Senior Municipal Advisor for Ehlers, spoke recently at a special meeting of available Village Trustees and expressed the importance of time management.

“Dollar General contacted the Village and President Barber asked them to give me a call. Their goal is to get things going on Nov. 1. Right now, I think the best we can do is mid-November, that’s if everything works like clockwork.”

Barry said the Village can’t just pull a TIF out of mid-air. There is the need for proper notification and if residences are involved the possibility of the need of a Public Hearing exists. A lot of prep work has to be done.

“The Village will need a boundary map and then a legal description of the proposed area. A TIF can encompass resident units.”

Barry said additional steps may have to be completed to see if additional proceedings are required. It’s a numbers game she said.

“If you have less than 75 residential units you wouldn’t have to do a housing study, but would have to have a Public Hearing.”

One of the biggest concerns facing the Village is the possible need for an extended timeline, according to Barry

“We are probably not going to be able to get done all that we have to under this timeline.”

Barry said Ehlers will work on attempting to get as much accomplished as is possible, as quickly as possible, to assure the business outlet will make its appearance in the village in 2017.

In other action, the Committee of the Whole gave its nod of approval for the upcoming village street dance, which will take place on Sept. 24. The schedule of activities includes two band performances, with the first beginning at 5 p.m. and running until 6:30. The second band will take the stage at 8 p.m.

Village President Dan Barber said the street dance is something the village supports, but steps have to be followed to make sure the pieces are in place before the autumn event occurs.

“The Village will need to know insurance is in place. The proposal means the Liquor Commission will also have to hold a meeting to apply for a special use permit.”

Pecatonica Police Chief Bob Smith reported to the Committee of the Whole that a possibility exists for a cooperative mutual aid agreement to be set up for the use, or access to, aerial services.

“It is basically a local mutual aid agreement between law enforcement agencies. I read through the mutual aid agreement and it reads much like one we approved earlier this year. I’m a little conflicted on it. I’m pretty sure services would already be rendered, in a rare event we need air support.”

Smith said he thinks it might be a better idea to wait on making a commitment to the plan until it is more thoroughly known what the Village’s requirements will be.

“The notion that an incident requiring the service in the village is remote, I’d say hold it over since we don’t know what the dues would be.”

The Committee of the Whole meets monthly on the first Thursday of every month at 6 p.m.

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