It doesn’t take much research to find out that I oppose Tax Increment Financing Districts.
However, at the last Lakewood Village Board meeting President Paul Serwatka mentioned the possibility of a Special Service Area (SSA) as a means of financing the alleviation of flooding problems on the East Side of town.
The problem is localized in the Country Club Additions Subdivision, the Gates, as people have begun to call the area.
An SSA would mean my and my neighbors taxes would go up, so you can imagine how my mind jumped when I heard Serwatka use say, “SSA.”
Then, an idea flowing from the brain of Susan Handelsman hit me.
Why not a residential Tax Increment Financing District, such as she has advocated?
Why should business get all the benefits from a TIF District?
If the Village Board were to create a TIF District for the East Side of town, now commonly know as”The Gates,” real estate taxes coming in as a result of increased assessed valuation could be designated by the Board for various flood remediation projects.
At its mid-November meeting the Board authorized Midwest Water Group to “smoke” test ninety-five sewer manholes. (It’s not actually smoke. It’s some harmless vapor.”
The goal is to identify
- drains in driveways
- gutters connected to the sanitary sewers
- “any exterior source going into the sewer system”
A likely source of infiltration are the pipes running from homes to the sewers under the streets.
If these are tile, roots may have provided openings for rain water to end up in the sewers.
If the TIF were successful, subsidizing the removal of roots inside the pipes and/or lining such laterals with PVC pipe would be possible, if approved by the Village Board.