As part of a commitment to the PreservINg Main Street program, Brookville Redevelopment Commission voted 4-0 Monday to send $50,000 to the Main Street Brookville – represented at the meeting by Gage Pace, vice president - revolving loan fund held at the Franklin County Community Foundation.

Another $50,000 is expected to be transferred at some point next year. The timing corresponded to a May property tax windfall of $162,084.56 from the county to BRC's Tax Increment Finance (TIF) fund. Commission president Todd Thackery noted the fall collection may be less due to residents paying their full tax payment upfront rather than in two installments.

Another fund update – after some background discussion on its origin and the First District Court of Appeals decision in 2019 to halt the flow of casino revenue to Franklin County – was for the Lawrenceburg Fund 4500, now sitting at $76,231.21 (from the original $300,000). 

This served as BRC's operating fund prior to establishing TIF and was used for parking meters, Brookville Theatre renovation and machinery for manufacturing, among other things, per Thackery. TIF has been building for most of the last decade and now totals $303,005.52.

The president explained funds for the Main Street sidewalk project from five years ago were originally drawn from Fund 4500 and reimbursed at 80% from the Indiana Department of Transportation. Then funds were pulled from TIF as that entire project expanded the town's TIF district; likewise, reimbursements went back into the TIF fund.

Nick Lawrence (not present), consultant with The Wheatley Group, has been assisting the commission on items related to economic development. Grant opportunities are being pursued to finish the second phase of the south end storm sewer. Thackery said a potential residential TIF district is still being researched but “nothing's been defined at this point.”

Member Beth Foster requested an update on that item.

Thackery continued to say the first thing is to define an area identified as the proposed residential TIF district, where there may be residential redevelopment or new development occurring. Money could then be captured for self-funding of infrastructure improvements in the area.

Foster queried as to whom would decide on the defined area. Initially, town council president Curtis Ward and some others were eying some areas for residential development, Thackery responded. Further, BRC would need to engage with legal counsel to document the defined area before moving on to area plan approval.

The “sidewalks to school” project from Fairfield Avenue up to Whitewater Drive is nearly complete aside from a railing to be installed to the west of the river, as well as some other finishing touches.

“It really looks great, very functional,” Foster commented.

Member Chuck Campbell briefly voiced a concern about the placement of mailboxes and carriers' access to those from the road.

In other news, BRC had a recommendation recently to update its comprehensive plan. Tara Hagan of Administrative Resources association, Columbus, will be watching for grant opportunities about $50,000-$60,000.

The 6th Street lots from the Blight Elimination Program have been sold; Thackery said an agreement is being worked out. Member Aaron Leffingwell (not present) will engage with attorneys and Lawrence to come up with proposed language and conditions.

Thackery reminded the public that the entire Brookville census tract is an opportunity zone. These zones carry tax advantages for investors looking to add to capital gains. A basic description, he said, is capital gains tax payments are deferred – and maybe even forgiven - over a 10-year period based on certain criteria. The president pointed out several investments have been made in town already based on this vehicle.
Four invoices were approved to be paid. HWC Engineering, Indianapolis, sent two for construction administration, services and inspections on the sidewalk project: $16,032.69 from April 30 and $14,713.83 from May 23. The original contract with HWC called for these totals not to exceed $58,140.42 and these bring the expenditures close to that number. For acquisition of property at 1321 Fairfield Avenue for the same project, $1,200 was to be paid to David and Kyrstyn Hokey. Another $100 went to LWG Advisors, Indianapolis, for a graded parcel list of 10 properties related to the TIF district.