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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Proposed fire territory may have impact on Lehigh TIF district and Lawrence County RDC

MARCH 1, 2024 - The proposed fire territory south of the White River may impact the Lehigh Tax Incremental Financial District which is managed by the Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission.


At this time the Marion Twp, Spice Valley, and City of Mitchell are considering a fire territory with the second of two public hearings already been held at the Mitchell Community Center.


The next public hearing will be held March 6, 2024 6:00 pm at the Mitchell Community Center.





The Indiana Legislature passed legislation early in 2023 adds another layer of complexity to the establishment of a fire territory.


House Enrolled Act 1454 provides that Tax Increment Finance (TIF) allocation areas may not capture property tax rates attributable to fire territories established after December 31, 2022, regardless of when the TIF area was created.


This change in legislation could result in higher revenues for fire protection territories in cases where all or part of the new fire territory is located within a newly formed or existing TIF allocation area.


HEA 1454 allows for a reduction in the amount of TIF allocation to be distributed to the fire territory if the Redevelopment Commission (RDC) determines that it is unable to meet its debt service obligations.


A calculation is required to determine the excess of proceeds of the increase of property tax associated with the establishment of the fire territory and will help to determine if debt service supported by TIF can continue to be funded if there is a reduction of property tax related to fire services.


The calculation may be made by the RDC in collaboration with the County Auditor and the fire territory and must be submitted to the Department of Local Government Finance.


Back in October 2023 the Lawrence County RDC approved a debt resolution to build a Shell Building in the Mitchell Industrial Park to help with economic development for the City of Mitchell.


The Mitchell Industrial Park had very little growth since its inception in 2010.


The Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission approved a bond resolution and additional spending resolution for the construction of a shell building in the industrial park in Mitchell.


The bond will not exceed $8 million and the county will use Dunn Hospital funds of approximately $900,000 to make the interest payments.


 GM Development Corporation have applied for the loan of approximately $7.1 million.


Lawrence County RDC will pay back the loan to GM Development Corp. once the building is sold to a company that will use the building.


The Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission has agreed to an Build Operate Transfer method to construct the shell building.


The Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission approved a resolution to move forward with a proposed $5.1 Million Shell building back in July, to be constructed in the Mitchell Industrial Park.


Photo: A proposed 50,000 sq. foot shell building will be constructed in the Mitchell Industrial Park


The location will be by the intersection of Doc Hamilton Boulevard and Merdian Road in Mitchell City limits.


Lisa Lee, Ice Miller presented to the Lawrence County RDC during a public hearing prior to the RDC on meeting on the proposed project for a Build, Operate, Transfer Model.


The project has been awarded to GM Development LLC. Corporation and Runnebohm Construction on the project by the Lawrence County RDC.





The building itself will be a total of 50,000 square feet metal fronted building on approximately 15 acres.



Heidi Amspaugh, Bakertilly Municipal Advisors was on hand on Thursday' to advise on how much the Lehigh TIF revenues will generate over time.


 The revenue generated from the TIF districts will be more than enough to pay for this project before the proposed establishment of the fire territory.





Projected TIF Revenue Generated in Lehigh TIF District listed below:

  • 2023 - $182,810

  • 2024 - $420,450

  • 2025 - $0

  • 2026 - $599,740

  • 2027 - $1,442,740

  • 2028 - $1,898,350

  • 2029 - $2,176,00

  • 2030 - $2,376,950

  • 2031 - $2,424,890

  • 2032 - $2,687,520

  • 2033 - $3,106,650

  • 2034 - $3,522,250

  • 2035 - $3,931,250


Total TIF revenue $24,586,840 with the personal and real property of the TIF revenue will generate about $29 million.


At this time it is not known how much the Lehigh TIF district will be impacted should the fire territory be approved.


Or breaking news and information go to lczephyr.org or like/follow the Lawrence County Zephyr Facebook page.


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