PRINCETON — Gibson County Commissioners Tuesday tabled endorsement of a request from the City of Princeton for a $1 million annual three-year pledge of tax increment finance district revenue to accomplish a water main replacement project.
Last year commissioners endorsed a $1 million TIF request by the city to start the Seminary Street water main project, and Gibson County Redevelopment Commission approved use of $1 million in Patoka-Union Twp. Tax Increment Finance District revenue, on the condition the work be accomplished within a year.
With that project nearly complete, Mayor Greg Wright and Commonwealth Engineers representative Eric Parsley asked commissioners to endorse the request for use of TIF revenue for the second, third and fourth phases of the project.
The city asked for $1 million in TIF revenue for the second leg of the work this year, and a pledge to commit the same amount of funding each year for the other phases.
The full project is an estimated $4.6 million replacement of 12-inch iron water main along Seminary Street that brings water from the north to the south end of the city with PVC plastic mains. The water main feeds a lateral line that supplies a water tower serving 15 Toyota suppliers.
The Seminary Street project is one of 10 city water distribution projects totaling $16 million needed in the city.
The first section of work replaced the portion of the water main north of Brumfield Avenue, and extended one more block to Emerson Street.
The second phase would involve boring under East Broadway (Ind. 64).
Parsley said the city is looking for grants to help accomplish the third and fourth phases, and a pledge of TIF revenue for those projects could be leveraged as a local match with grant funding.
While commissioners endorsed the project last year, the redevelopment commission approved the final funding with the one-year completion requirement. Parsley said if the city must complete the second phase within a year of a TIF award, it wouldn’t be likely that the second phase could be included in a grant application.
Commissioner Mary Key noted that while commissioners told city officials last year to come back with more requests for funding, “We have to figure out where we’re at.”
Key said there are some major projects related to Toyota that are funded with TIF revenue from the money captured by taxes Toyota pays within the Patoka-Union Twp. Redevelopment District. “I won’t say no, but definitely at this point in time, I won’t say yes,” she told Wright and Parsley.
Commissioners voted to table the request for further review.
During Tuesday’s regular meeting, Commissioner Steve Bottoms said five firms submitted proposals for the design of an expanded or new construction of the Gibson County Jail.
The proposals are not actual designs but qualifications from each company interested in the work.
Commissioners plan to review those proposal packets during a 9:30 a.m. special closed meeting at the North Annex council chambers. Commissioners will also interview prospective employees for the highway department during that meeting.
In other business:
• Gibson County Engineer Matt Holden reported bids for paving projects to be funded by the county’s $1 million Community Crossings grant should be ready to be opened May 19.
Holden said some local paving projects on County Road 950 South and County Road 250 West were scheduled to begin this week, but said they could be delayed if it rains. Holden said during the COVID-19 pandemic, the contractors are canceling work when rain is in the weather forecast in as a social distancing measure to keep workers from congregating.
• Board of Commissioners President Gerald Bledsoe asked the sheriff’s office to review need for speed limits on County Roads 675 South and 700 South between County Roads 500 West and 600 West.
Bledsoe also thanked all county workers for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Everybody has worked this time in unusual circumstances and they are doing an unbelievable job,” he reported.
Email Andrea Howe at firstname.lastname@example.org