The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, approved a $400,000 guaranteed loan to local developer Pat McCurdy, for a 24-unit apartment building near the existing Walnut Hills apartment complex on east 10th Street. The funds, at 4-percent interest, would not be paid to McCurdy unless he receives the go-ahead for the $2.1-million dollar project from the State, as part of an application he has submitted for additional, grant or loan opportunities. The loan guarantee also serves to add points to McCurdy’s application, when it comes time to approve the larger grant or loan. It should be known by January 2015 whether or not the process can move forward.
In other business, the Council held a public hearing on a revised Urban Revitalization Plan (URP), during which there were no comments submitted, either written or spoken. The Council then moved forward with approving a Resolution establishing a URP for the City, with the proposed modifications, as explained by Mayor Dave Jones and SWIPCO Community Development Specialist Barb Barrick.
The modifications include removing the area south of 14th Street from the “blighted” definition. Anyone making improvements on the homes south of 14th Street would be eligible for a tax abatement of up to $75,000 of the actual assessed value of the improvements. Anyone living north of there is eligible for a full abatement, up to $250,000.
Duplexes constructed after January 1st, 2014 are being classified as single-family residences instead of commercial, and would be eligible for tax abatement, if they previously were qualified as “Commercial.”
Following the Public Hearing, the Council approved a Resolution establishing the Urban Revitalization Area, and after some discussion, the first reading of an ordinance designating the 2014 City of Atlantic URP. There was considerable confusion over what time frame the abatements would cover, as far as improvements to structures were concerned. John Lund, Assistant to City Administrator Doug Harris, tried to clarify the matter, citing his conversations with Cass County Assessor Brenda Nelson.
Lund said according to Nelson, it depends on completion of a project. For instance, anyone who applies for a home improvement tax abatement now, must have those projects completed by Jan. 1st 2015, in order to be on the tax roles and receive an abatement next year.
If the project was not complete by Jan. 1, 2015, there won’t be any partial abatements. Instead, the full abatement would come during the following calendar year, if it amounts to a 10-percent increase in valuation of the property.