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Village of Sturtevant trustees and staffers Tuesday officially closed their highly successful development district with a party and a ceremonial check presentation in increasingly larger amounts. Primarily comprised of the Renaissance Business Park, TIF #3 was established in 1994 and closed this summer, nearly six years early. At the time, those 390 acres were valued at around $4 million. Now that the TIF has closed, Sturtevant received $734,000 in a lump payment, and village officials Tuesday hosted a TIF closure ceremony Tuesday where they presented large “checks” of lump sum payments to representatives from the taxing bodies of Gateway Technical College, Racine County and Racine Unified. More, village property owners – residential, commercial, retail and industrial – could see a 25 percent decrease in their Sturtevant tax bill next year. Mike Mooney from MLG Commercial Realty was one of the architects of TIF #3, and he said in the history of successful development districts throughout the state, Sturtevant’s is in the top five. “It’s very rare for TIF districts to close, much less close early and provide the kind of tax relief this district is providing,” he explained. “It took real guts to have the vision to invest and move forward; to have the hope and confidence to see the huge value in going forward, and that deserves recognition.” When TIF #3 was established in 1994, only 4,800 people lived in Sturtevant, and the village only had $1 million in borrowing power. Officials worked with Mooney and financial and development advisors so Sturtevant could borrow $19 million to start construction on the infrastructure. All told, Sturtevant invested $44 million in TIF #3, and it is now valued at over $222 million. “People told the board they were crazy, and they were going to bankrupt the village, but look where we are today,” Jansen said during his remarks. After Jansen, Mooney, and other financial and development advisors spoke, Jansen presented the ceremonial checks. Gateway Technical College received over $65,000; Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave accepted more than $317,000, and Racine Unified Superintendent Lolli Haws held a check for more than $873,000. Several Sturtevant trustees have expressed the hope that RUSD would use the money to improve and possibly expand Schulte Elementary to make it a K-8 school. After the presentation ended, Haws said the money would be used to finance the architectural changes needed at the Sturtevant Sportsplex so the REAL School can begin holding classes there in Fall 2017. The village board earlier this month approved the boundaries and borrowing for TIF #4 which will target the development and redevelopment of the Durand Avenue corridor, Wisconsin Street and portions of Highway H and 90th Street.

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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/