TIF district set to grow

Bargersville officials hope for an expanded sewer system along State Road 37 in preparation for Interstate 69 and want to increase their tax revenue to build it.

The town is doubling the size of its tax-increment financing, or TIF, district by adding land near State Road 37, State Road 135 and off of County Road 144 near Two Cent Road.

The Bargersville Redevelopment Commission approved the new areas this week after the town council and plan commission also voted in favor of the expanded TIF district in recent months. By expanding the TIF district, property taxes from new development that usually goes to other governments, such as Johnson County Public Library, White River Township or Center Grove Community Schools, will be collected only by the town instead. The town’s redevelopment commission will be able to spend the TIF money toward economic development or infrastructure improvements, such as installing sidewalks, sewer lines and signs that welcome residents and visitors.

The town brings in about $127,000 per year through the existing TIF district, but now an estimated $400,000 per year could be coming in, according to the tax impact statement. The town will start collecting TIF funds on any property value improvements dating back to March 2015. The TIF district only receives money if assessed property value increases, such as when a company constructs a building on a piece of land.

Officials want the new TIF district in place so they can fund costly projects, such as adding sewer lines near State Road 37, so more businesses can move in near the highway, said Bargersville Redevelopment Commission president Kenneth Zumstein. If State Road 37 is picked as the route for the upcoming Interstate 69, the town wants that area prepared for new business, he said.

More than $7.1 million worth of improvements have been discussed by redevelopment commission members, including Two Cent Road and pedestrian improvements, State Road 135 pedestrian pathway, sanitary sewer improvements, electrical utility improvements, access road improvements, State Road 37 monument or gateway signage and marketing and branding of gateway areas into Bargersville, according to the town’ tax impact statement.

Bargersville officials are also talking to Morgan County Commissioners to possibly share the same waste disposal plant, Morgan County auditor Dan Bastin said. If I-69 is built along State Road 37, the two governments could share sewer utilities since both anticipate restaurants, gas stations and other businesses to move in on either side of the interstate.

If I-69 is built along State Road 37, Bargersville and Morgan County could connect their sewer systems, but nothing has been finalized, Bastin said.

A waste disposal plant will be built regardless of what happens with I-69 to improve the sewer system for Waverly Elementary School, Bastin said. The plant will be built north of County Road 144, and west of Old State Road 37, near White River, he said.