Frisco council decides on economic incentives
Summit Daily News
After passing two economic incentives on the first reading two weeks ago, Frisco Town Council decided Tuesday to only move ahead with one.
An ordinance establishing a temporary program to reimburse commercial property or business owners with 50 percent of building permit fees for commercial projects passed unanimously on the second reading. Eligible applicants include commercial property and business owners with a building permit to construct, add upon or improve a commercial space. The rebate would be dependent on the owner receiving a certificate of occupancy and being compliant with town codes. The ordinance also calls for an expedited review process for large commercial projects.
The program runs until Dec. 31 of this year. Staff is unsure of cost since rebates are dependent on the size of the project.
A second ordinance providing a 50 percent reimbursement – up to $5,000 – for improved business signage was not passed, with three council members voting for it and three voting against. Councilmember Gary Wilkinson was absent.
At the ordinance’s first reading, the incentive also included facade and landscaping improvements. Councilmember Larry Sawyer, who voted against the incentive at first reading, moved to make the motion only include signage before the reading Tuesday night, which the rest of council agreed upon. Sawyer voted in favor of it on second reading, while Mayor Bill Pelham, Councilmember Kim Cancelosi and Mayor Pro-Tem Woody Van Gundy voted against.
Sawyer said the proposal only makes sense if the resources were put behind signage, since some businesses on Main Street aren’t very visible. But, he said the incentive isn’t very high on his list. Sawyer said $5,000 for facade, landscaping and signage improvements wouldn’t go very far for any business, especially if it was already in trouble.
The incentive had a program cap of $25,000.
“If you look at our budget, we’re going to need money for 2013,” Sawyer said. “I’d rather start saving.”
During worksession on Tuesday, staff presented council with the needed and desired capital improvements through 2015. The budget for 2013 includes a necessary Main Street Overlay, which would cost $500,000 and bring the needed capital project total to $980,000. The core capital improvement budget for this year is $723,500 and includes $340,000 for roadway preservation.
The town plans on spending $540,000 on necessary projects in 2012, while $340,000 is slated for 2014 and the same is planned for 2015.
Executive assistant Theresa Paul said after the capital projects discussion in worksession, council wasn’t sure if funding should be put towards a signage incentive or saved for general infrastructure projects.
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