Timeline: New Athens TIF district

News-DemocratDecember 7, 2013 

* In September 2010, Dollar General expresses interest in coming to New Athens. To do so, the store wants a TIF district created to reimburse it for infrastructure costs.

*New Athens trustees, including Mayor Gary Kearns and Trustee Robert Kearns, begin working on creating the TIF district in February 2011. Gary and Robert Kearns are brothers. The brothers and seven other people are members of the Hidden Lake Estates Development Corp.

*The Kearns brothers support creating the TIF district over 3 acres owned by the Hidden Lake Estates corporation.

* In August 2011, the village board approved an "Inducement Resolution" stating the board intended to use TIF funds to assist Westmore Equities LLC with the cost of constructing the Dollar General. Gary Kearns signed the resolution.

*On Oct. 12, 2011, Trustee Robert Kearns resigns from the board.

*On Oct. 18, 2011, Hidden Lake Estates corporation sells a 1.4-acre parcel within the proposed TIF district for $150,000 to Westmore Equities. The county assessor valued the parcel at $1,749 prior to the sale.

*On Nov. 7, 2011, the New Athens Board of Trustees approve the TIF district. Mayor Gary Kearns does not vote, but approves and signs the TIF ordinance. The mayor only votes to a break a tie vote between trustees.

*Westmore completes the Dollar General store in March 2012. Total cost of the project is estimated at $1.1 million.

*Westmore Equities sells the Dollar General building and property for $1,145,818 to a separate management company on March 19, 2012.

*In April 2, 2012, the board approves a TIF redevelopment agreement with Westmore to reimburse the company $300,000 for construction costs. Mayor Kearns signs and approves agreement.

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