Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tif Panel Lacks Details on New Center Financing

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tif Panel Lacks Details on New Center Financing

Article excerpt

The members of the St. Charles Tax Increment Commission are scheduled to meet with property owners in the district next week and hold a public hearing on its work in two weeks. But commissioners may have to hold both meetings before the financing details of a new county convention center are worked out.

The tax commission is overseeing potential development within the special area known as a tax-increment district. The district is being created as the principal means of financing construction of a county convention center, adjacent hotel and entertainment complex.

But Emil Horstmeier, chairman of the St. Charles County Convention and Sports Authority, told the tax-increment commissioners Wednesday that his group still was working to resolve a number of basic questions about its participation in redevelopment efforts within the district.

Horstmeier said the county convention authority was concerned about the amount of control it would have over the convention-center project and the amount of money it would need to spend to build and maintain the facility.

"The plan calls for us to spend 50 percent of our money on the building; we figure we'll need about 50 percent for maintenance, and then there's the marketing which may take 50 percent and that's 150 percent," he said.

Allan T. Williams, St. Charles city administrator and secretary of the TIF commission, said the details of the land acquisition for the center and hotel and other issues would be determined in negotiations with the city and project developer.

But Williams and Horstmeier agreed that all of the legal details involving the convention center project did not have to be completely resolved before the end of the year.

The City Council in May formed the district and confirmed the mayor's appointment of the commissioners. The commission began to study the potential for development in an area whose boundaries generally include 106 acres bounded roughly by Booneslick Road on the north, the KATY Trail on the east, Interstate 70 on the south and Fifth Street on the west.

The St. Charles County Convention and Sports Authority has chosen this area as the site of a new convention center containing between 100,000 and 174,000 square feet. …

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