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Lemont expanding TIF district along Route 83

LEMONT – The Lemont Village Board voted unanimously to expand its Gateway Tax Increment Finance District during its meeting Monday night.

According to village documents, the TIF district is located along Route 83, south of the I & M Canal. The added area is west of Route 83, between Archer Bell Avenue and Main Street.

The Gateway TIF District was created in 2009 in order to "spur economic growth in area that has inadequate utilities, deleterious land use and deteriorating infrastructure," according to the village website.

Village administrator George Schafer said the district met the definition of a blighted area at the time it was formed because of its dilapidated buildings, vacant property and lack of utilities.

The village is in the process of marketing the land in the district for commercial developers, he said. Once the property is purchased, the village would be able to use money from the tax increments to fund improvements in the area.

"We've cleared two of the properties the village has acquired through the TIF and plan to demolish a couple more," Schafer said.

The added parcels of land have been annexed into the Village of Lemont since the TIF district was formed.

"These properties, if they were in the village at the time (the Gateway TIF District) was originally adopted, would have been included," Schafer said.

Acquiring the land has been an investment on the village's part, but Schafer said it should make the properties more attractive to potential developers.

"As part of the property acquisition, one of the major positives is we are able to assemble the properties," he said, meaning a buyer will not have to work with multiple land owners.

Schafer said the village is in negotiations to acquire another parcel of land.

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