Board gives 1st OK to using TIF money

City officials have given initial approval to use tax-increment financing dollars toward the $30 million railroad overpass project at the State Road 46/State Road 11 intersection.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission on Monday unanimously approved using $5.5 million from the Cummins TIF District for the overpass project, which is expected to begin in 2019. The Indiana Department of Transportation has agreed to pick up $15 million of the project’s cost, while local partners, led by the city of Columbus, are picking up the remainder of the amount.

Other than the $5.5 million from the Cummins Engine Plant TIF District, the city’s share also includes $4 million from its Central TIF District. Funding will also be provided by up to $2.5 million in state or federal highway programs along with cost savings, $2 million from Bartholomew County government and $1.5 million from CSX and Louisville & Indiana Railroads.

A request to use $5.5 million in Cummins TIF District funds will go before the Columbus City Council for final approval during its 6 p.m. meeting Nov. 7, said Stan Gamso, attorney for the redevelopment commission. If approved, the money will be placed in the city’s non-reverting fund for the overpass project, Gamso said.

The fund, which was created by the city in August, means any money within the fund can only be spent on the overpass project, city officials said.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com