City of Massena takes steps to secure TIF from wind turbines to pay for CIP’s


October 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Massena is taking steps to secure Tax Increment Financing (TIF) through the use of an Enterprise Zone that might encompass a two-mile radius of the town, with the idea the funds raised from taxes on approximately 40 wind turbines in that area, would be used for Capital Improvement Projects (CIP’s) in the City. Massena City Councilperson Linda Reineke told the Cass County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, that they are working diligently and methodically, to come up with a proposal for the Board, which they hope to present sometime next Spring.

She said they have approved moving forward with looking into creating an Enterprise Zone or an Urban Renewal Area (URA) and using to TIF monies to invest in a CIP.  Reineke said the needs for the money derived from TIF are desperately needed, to help pay for a sewer improvement project that’s expected to cost about $700,000. She said residents in the small community cannot afford to pay for that project through taxes, on their own. She said the population in Massena has declined from 414 in 2000 to 355 in 2010. That, along with a decline the number of available decent homes has resulted in a decline in revenue for the City.

Reineke said young people, and those employed by Mid-American Energy, want to move back in to the community, but there simply isn’t enough quality housing. One of the Mid-American employees also wants to open a small shop in the community. She said a TIF presents a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for economic development in Massena and expansion.

Before any TIF can be established however, the City is creating a “laundry list” of Capital Improvement Projects, so they can better narrow down the actual amount of money they need for those projects. The City would also need to approve a TIF before the Board of Supervisors could give their blessing on any such request. Supervisor Chuck Reiken and Board Chair Duane McFadden commended the City for taking the time to plan, and coming up with the vision they can present to the Board, when they are ready to make their case for a TIF.