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Council approves TIF for north side

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

Midwest City leaders took final steps to create a tax increment financing district that will be used to spur economic development on the city’s north side.
The TIF is expected to generate more than $8 million that will be used for infrastructure improvements and economic incentives to attract industrial businesses and make enhancements along NE 23rd St.

“This is to set up the financial means which we will repay our investment in infrastructure improvements, development finance assistance and other expenses related to the Centrillium, Global Turbine Services and Vision 23 projects,” said Robert Coleman, Midwest City economic development director.

The city council unanimously approved creation of the North Side Improvement District TIF following a second public hearing at the Aug. 23 meeting.

Under tax-increment financing, taxes within a geographical boundary are refunded or diverted to help finance development in blighted areas. Governments also may use TIF to pay for public infrastructure improvements. The North Side Improvement District boundaries primarily run along NE 23rd St. between Post Rd. and Air Depot Blvd. The west boundary extends north to NE 36th St.

Global Turbine Services and Centrillium Proteins, LLC intend to open facilities within the North Side Improvement District. The companies would bring about 350 jobs and at least $45 million in private investment.

Centrilllium Proteins, LLC, a food processing company, plans open a 55,000-square-foot food processing plant near 7210 NE 36th St. The company plans to hire 150 employees with average wages of $52,000 annually. Midwest City would help with extension of sewer, water and construction of a rail spur.

Global Turbine Services has proposed to build a testing and manufacturing facility in Midwest City’s Soldier Creek Industrial Park, 7450 NE 23rd St. The project consists of multiple buildings that will be developed in three phases. When completed, the company expects to employ about 200 people with average wages of $65,000 per year.

Midwest City expects to spend about $8.9 million for the projects and administrative expenses. The projects include utility improvements ($3 million) and a rail spur ($1.65 million) at Centrillium Proteins. It would also include development financing assistance ($1.5 million) and offsite public improvements ($800,000) at GTS.

The city also expects to spend $750,000 for improvements to NE 23rd St. as part of the Vision23 project. The plan calls for enhancements and revitalization of NE 23rd St. between N. Air Depot Blvd. and N. Post Rd. Those include upgraded street lighting and creation of safe pedestrian crossings at major intersections.
Midwest City plans to fund the projects through its Economic Development Authority and with federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars. The TIF will allow the city to be reimbursed for the EDA funds but not ARPA. The TIF District is expected to last for 12 years.

The city started the formal process of creating the TIF district in December, when the city council approved a resolution authorizing and directing the Midwest City Local Development Act Review Committee to analyze the proposal and determine if the area would qualify as an “increment district.”

The Local Development Act Review Committee began meeting in the spring. The group, which included representatives from each of the tax entities in the area as well as citizens and the city council, recommended creation of the district in May.

The planning commission also reviewed the TIF and determined that it follows the city’s comprehensive plan. City council heard a presentation on the TIF in July before approving it last month.
Midwest City officials approved an economic development assistance agreement with Centrillium on July 26. The agreement outlined the city’s plans to extend water and sewer lines to the property and construct a rail spur to serve the company. Coleman told the council to expect a few additional items related to Centrillium project. They include a zoning amendment, contract for construction of water distribution and sanitary sewer collection project, and contracts for engineering and construction of railroad spur and switch.



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