Springfield adds more Community Improvement Districts to a growing list of improvement projects

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Springfield approved three more large community improvement projects this week.

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The Ridge at Ward Branch, on south Campbell, near the Library Center is one of the latest developments to be designated as a Community Improvement District, or CID.

“A lot of people don’t realize when a new shopping center goes in and it requires a turn lane or a new traffic light or even new roads, new public roads, the developer has to pay for them,” explained Economic Development Director for Springfield, Sarah Kerner.

Springfield now has 17 CIDs.

Many, like the Springfield-Branson National Airport have been around for years. An extra 1% was tacked on to the sales and use tax for good and services there. The money is used to pay for roads, utilities and traffic lights.

Galloway is another area designated as a CID. The 1% percent added to the sales tax there pays for improvements to South Lone Pine. This allowed developers to build restaurants, shops and apartments.

Kerner said, “They do incur the cost upfront. It is possible that they never get fully paid back if their development doesn’t generate sales tax.”

The funds must be used to make public improvements. The only exception is if a property on the land chosen for re-development is blighted or left in ruins.

“The only difference is if you have a blighted CID then it allows you to pay for more things with your sales tax money,” said Kerner.

The Clarion Hotel on South Glenstone is a good example. The old building was in such disrepair the only solution was to demolish it. The developer was able to apply the extra 1% sales tax collected towards reimbursement of demolition and road improvement costs. This made it possible to build Glenstone Market Place with stores like Home Goods.

Kerner said that CID’s help to improve the area without spending city funds.

“In a way, it’s really the developers risk. They’re putting out this money in advance, putting in the infrastructure and then trying to attract the businesses that will make the sales that will reimburse them,” she said.

Once The Ridge at Ward Branch project is completed $13.6 million worth of improvements will be made. That includes roads, traffic lights, storm water infrastructure.

Once the cost of the improvements are paid off the CID expires taking the extra tax along with it.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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