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Ottawa's downtown TIF still on hold, approval likely

Ottawa's downtown tax increment financing district has been stalled slightly, but still looks likely to be extended.

The city is looking to extend the TIF an additional 12 years, bringing it to 2034, but letters of support from all of the associated taxing bodies must be sent to the Illinois General Assembly.

The only letter currently lacking is from the Ottawa Elementary School District, and while approval was on the board's agenda this month, it was tabled during the meeting.

"We just have received some information that was late. It's no fault of any side," said Superintendent Cleve Threadgill.

Threadgill estimated the agreement will be brought before the board during a special board meeting either later this month or in early August.

Threadgill declined to discuss what new information halted the final approval, but suggested that final approval seemed likely.

He said at a board meeting in May that the school board was able to negotiate with the city "in good faith."

The school board appeared hesitant earlier in the year, since the district hasn’t received any funds from the first TIF agreement that gave no rebates, and have had to put off expensive maintenance projects and wind up in deficits to be paid off in bonds as a result.

Letters of support have already been received from Ottawa High School and Illinois Valley Community College.

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