Editor's note: This story has been edited to correct an error regarding the amount of potential additional local option income tax revenue that might be generated.
PRINCETON — Development of a proposed 51-lot subdivision on the western edge of Princeton is the focus of a request for use of up to $1,128,100 in Tax Increment Finance District revenue.
Gibson County Economic Development Corp. CEO/President Paul Waters said Tuesday morning the potential $1,946,300 project on White Church Road is an historic move, a chance to create the first sizable residential subdivision for Princeton in two decades.
Developer Greg Koberstein, who owns the property on the west side of White Church Road, proposes to invest $594,000 in infrastructure including the $176,000 land value, $88,000 in marketing and real estate commissions, $27,500 to create an entrance to the subdivision, $79,600 in sanitary sewer work, $58,200 in water line work, $137,500 in gas main construction and $27,500 in broadband conduit construction.
The project proposes $223,900 in funding from the City of Princeton, which might eventually annex the property into the city. The request for investment from the city would include $11,000 for easement acquisition, $152,400 for sanitary sewer construction and $60,500 for water line construction.
Waters sought the Gibson County Commissioners' endorsement of the project as a candidate for use of the $1,128,100 in TIF revenue, which would include $60,500 for engineering, $27,500 for permits, $140,800 for sanitary sewer construction, $60,500 for water line construction, $275,000 for storm sewer construction and $563,800 for street construction through the subdivision from White Church Road to County Road 50 South.
Commissioners made no decision Tuesday on whether they will recommend the project for TIF funding to the Gibson County Redevelopment Commission. "We want to table it," said commissioner Gerald Bledsoe. "I want to go through it (the proposal) word for word," he said.
The request for use of TIF funding for development of the subdivision isn't the first of its kind. Commissioners heard a version of the request several years ago, but did not act on it. In recent months, a request for use of $1.5 million TIF funding to build an apartment complex on the south edge of Fort Branch was presented to the redevelopment commission, but the commission was only prepared to award $1.125 million, and the project was shelved.
At Tuesday morning's board of commissioners session, local banks and real estate firms as well as Princeton Mayor Brad Schmitt were on hand to hear the proposal. Gibson County's housing inventory is low, according to local Realtors, and Waters made note that 7,000 people drive into the county every day to work.
He said moderately priced homes in the $160,000 to $210,000 range could be spur to attract those people to live in Gibson County.
Waters estimated in the proposal to commissioners that if 12 homes are sold in the subdivision in the next 10 years and eight of them are purchased by people moving into Gibson County with an estimated household income of $70,000, that would create about 16 new students for North Gibson Schools, add $3,920 in local option income tax revenue that doesn't stay in the county now when people work here but live elsewhere, and would generate about $17,760 per year in property tax revenue. Sixteen new students in North Gibson schools would add about $98,640 in state funding for the school each year, he noted. Twelve new homes would generate about $14,400 in water utility usage in a year. The total increased revenue for 12 new households would mean about $134,720 additional revenue per year, or nearly $1.4 million over ten years.
According to the proposal, the TIF request also includes use of $160,000 for a "spec" home on the site to be sold within three years, and the money returned to the redevelopment commission.
Princeton Mayor Brad Schmitt said he thinks the city would support a voluntary annexation of the property. "Residential development is what we've been lacking," he told commissioners, and he said he believes the development will require private and public funds. "We (the city) will have skin in the game," he said.