Village Discusses Tax Incentive, Parking, Target Industries, Budget Items
The Lemont Village Board met in workshop session (Committee of the Whole) at 7 p.m. Monday at Village Hall, 418 Main St.
At its Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night, the Lemont Village Board discussed a request from Rena Land, LLC, to support its application for a tax incentive (Class 6b property tax classification). The business has said plans to build a 45,000 square-foot industrial building in the 13000 block of Main Street cannnot be finalized unless a Class 6b property tax incentive is feasible.
According to a memo from Village Planner Charity Jones, Cook County began the Class 6b program “to attract new industry, stimulate industrial expansion and increase employment opportunities throughout the county.”
A property is eligible for the tax incentive if the municipality in which it is located passes an ordinance or resolution in support of the 6b classification - which allows industrial property to be assessed at 10 percent of market value for 10 years, 15 percent in the 11th year and 20 percent in the 12th year – rather than at the standard 25 percent, according to the memo.
Artkadizsz Gruszka, owner of Art Logistics, which is currently leasing a building in Addison, proposes to build a warehousing and freight company as well as a manufacturer of auxiliary power units for semi trucks at 13001, 13021 and 13067 Main St.
The owner estimated the total costs to build the facility at $3.1 million, and said the company currently employs 145 full-time workers with plans to hire an additional 30 employees in the first year.
Although no votes or actions are taken at Committee of the Whole workshop meetings, it was clear Monday night that village board members were not generally in favor of supporting a tax incentive for the prospective new industrial business. Mayor Brian Reaves said the village has never granted a 6b property tax classification for vacant land – and board members voiced concerns about setting a precedent if they voted to do so.
Attorney Joanne Elliott of Elliott and Associates of Des Plaines addressed the village board to plead the case for her clients to obtain Cook County’s Class 6b classification.
“We all need to recognize new construction has been at a halt all over Cook County – and this property has sat vacant for a number of years,” Elliott said. “They are willing to invest, bring new jobs.”
Elliott added that like any startup company, the owners will be investing in their new venture and not increasing revenue immediately. Without the tax incentive, she said, they cannot afford to build the facility as they had planned.
She said her firm has just begun representing the company and had shared its profit and loss statement with the village’s planning department Monday afternoon, just hours before the board meeting.
Mayor Reaves asked Elliott and her client to share more details and work with the village planner so board members will have adequate information to allow them to revisit the company's request again next month.
Parking at Front Street Lofts
The board discussed a request from homeowners at Front Street Lofts at 340 River Street to consider allowing them to rent additional parking spaces for their units in the public parking garage. An agreement between the developer and the village allows one parking space for each of the 82 units in the 260-space public parking garage. The loft owners currently pay $75 per space per quarter for one parking space.
Target Industries Report
Village Planner Charity Jones presented a draft of a Target Industries Report for the board’s review and comment. In the report, which is designed to guide the village as it updates its comprehensive plan, the planning and economic development department identified six “target” industries that are “compatible with Lemont’s community vision and are likely to choose to locate, remain or grow in Lemont because of its economic, geographic or other comparative advantages.”
Mayor Reaves said the report created a “phenomenal starting point” to provide the planning and zoning department a “great opportunity to take this and decide where they want to go with the comprehensive plan.”
FY 13-14 Budget Introduction
Village staff has already begun preparing department-level operation budgets – and at Monday night’s workshop meeting, Village Administrator Ben Wehmeier and Assistant Village Administrator George Schafer presented an overview of budget-related items such as:
- National and state economics
- Housing forecasts
- The village’s new budget format
- FY 14 initial budget outlook
- Proposed capital expenditures and TIF overview
- Budget process
- Budget preparation
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