The Deerfield Village Board is considering closing one of its tax incremental finance (TIF) districts, and reopening a new TIF district covering similar area, to extend the timeline for potential developments there.

The village board started discussing closing TIF #4 at a Jan. 11 meeting, after receiving an update on the TIF’s condition from Ehlers Inc., the village’s financial consultant.

TIF #4 is on Deerfield’s south side, off Highway 73, between a strip mall containing the Pickle Tree restaurant and Brown’s Heating and Cooling, and bordering the Deerfield Dream Park.

This financial study is the first step toward the development of a 70-unit apartment complex, envisioned between the dream park and the strip mall. The Village Board approved a pre-development agreement with Lakestone Properties of McFarland in November.

The potential apartment complex site is located in TIF #4, and the developers said in November, the project would hinge on TIF funding from the village.

However, Greg Johnson of Ehlers told the Village Board in a memo this week that TIF #4 isn’t generating revenue, and is running a negative balance of $857,000.

“The district is not generating any significant revenue and the Village is incurring costs to keep the (TIF) open each year,” Johnson said in the memo.

Board member Scott Tebon, chair of the village’s Plan Commission, said the TIF has “only a couple years left in its life.” It’s set to close in 2028.

It “wouldn’t be a case where a developer could come in and create any increment,” Tebon said.

Now, the village is considering closing the TIF before 2028, and reopening a TIF in a similar footprint, to allow future developers, like Lakestone Properties, a longer period to generate developments and gain funding from the TIF.

Board member Arnold Evenson suggested consulting Ehlers to find other land that could be included in the TIF this time around. But generally, the board response to the idea was positive.

The board will revisit the idea at its next meeting. The deadline to close a TIF in 2021, by passing a board resolution, is April 15.

Deer-Grove EMSIn other matters, the board voted to pay almost $26,000 to Deer-Grove EMS, out of a grant the village received to cover unexpected Covid-19-related costs.

Deerfield received nearly $45,000 from the Routes to Recovery Local Government Aid Grant, meant to be used for expenses in 2020 that were caused by Covid-19 and not budgeted for.

The Village of Deerfield requested about $19,000 toward the grant in expenses, and the Village Board voted Jan. 11 to give the remainder of that funding to Deer-Grove EMS.

Village Administrator Elizabeth McCredie said when applying for the grant, she cited about $77,000 worth of expenses that Deer-Grove EMS had incurred in 2020, because of Covid-19.

“They had to spend a lot of money to protect their people,” Village President Greg Frutiger said.

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