Business owners in the Main Street project seem to have been assured that the condemnation powers authorized by the Tax Increment Financing law will not be used on them.
When questioned about use of condemnation in the Main Street TIF at last Friday’s Joint Review Board meeting, Teska Associates President Lee Brown said that it was “never a part of our plan to use condemnation.”
Michelle Rentzsch, Planning & Economic Development Director, added that the city envisioned “assisting property owners to improve their properties in their own time.”
Indeed, Rentzsch seemed to know each of the property owners in the Main Street TIF district. She referred to their names at several points in the hearing.
Letters, on the other hand, were the method of contacting at least three property owners in the Vulcan Lakes/Route 14 TIF district. To put it mildly, that is not a “high touch” approach.
Perhaps it would have been uncomfortable for a city employee to talk to the business owners in person, since the goal of the Mayor and City Council seems to be demolition of all businesses now existing within the proposed TIF districts.
Some of them will be testifying at Tuesday night’s 7:30 TIF hearing at city hall.