EHDA to spearhead redevelopment of Watauga River District

Published 6:21 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A project over three years in the making could soon become a reality for the City of Elizabethton.
City Councilmen will vote this evening on a resolution to allow the Elizabethton Housing & Development Agency to create a redevelopment plan for the Watauga River District.
Elizabethton’s planning staff has worked alongside Carter County Tomorrow to implement redevelopment to use tax increment financing (TIF) to incentivizing development within the district.
TIF is utilized by city and county governments as a way to address redevelopment of an area or improvement of existing structures. Once a TIF district is established, property tax rates are frozen within the zone, but as development increases, so do property values.
Jon Hartman, city planning and development director, has presented the perks of TIF to city and county officials in a variety of presentation and has stated that examples of a successfully created district can be seen in Northeast Tennessee, including downtown Johnson City, the Pinnacle in Bristol and the City of Kingsport.
Housing agencies conduct the redevelopment and urban renewal plans for TIF districts. Even with a new role, EHDA Director Kelly Geagley has stated during previous housing board meetings that the agency is excited to be part of this new role.
According to information provided by the department, the Watauga River District is bounded by Watauga River to the north, Sycamore Shoals State Park and Hospital to the west, Wal Mart, Lowes and the Elk Crossing Shopping Center to the south and Cherokee Park Drive to the east.
If passed the EHDA will be authorized and directed to prepare the plan and conduct a future public hearing to “determine the necessity for the adoption of the plan.”

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