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The dark shaded area, in the southwest part of Grant and connected to a tract in northwest Grant, has been declared substandard/blighted which qualifies the area to use tax increment financing for public improvements, such as streets, sewer and water mains.

Study adds new redevelopment area

Action by the Grant city council Jan. 28 paves the way for additional redevelopment areas within the boundaries of the City of Grant. 

Members unanimously approved the acceptance of a blight and substandard study  conducted by Five Rule Planning of Kearney. 

The area includes an eight-block residential area in the southwest corner of Grant linked together with a 11-acre tract in the northwest corner of Grant. 

Bobbi Petti, owner of Five Rule, explained the designated area must meet specific criteria for both substandard and blight conditions.

The biggest advantage for the designation is that tax increment financing (TIF) can be used to help pay for public infrastructure in a private redevelopment project. 

TIF provides an incentive for private development that will ultimately increase the tax base, such as a housing development. 

The property taxes generated from the increased valuation of the development are used to pay off redevelopment bonds sold to finance the infrastructure. This capture of taxes can be done for a period of up to 15 years.

 Some examples of public infrastructure improvements include installation of sewer and water mains and street construction. 

Nebraska statutes allow TIF only when a project is not economically feasible without it.

Specific criteria must be meet for both substandard and blight conditions before an area can be eligible for TIF, Petti told the council.

Her study indicated street deterioration in southwest Grant, along with the age of sewer mains and age and size of water mains in that area, provided the necessary deficiencies to be declared substandard. 

She noted one other deficiency was met due to the size of the water mains. 

New water mains are a minimum of six inches, while the area has four-inch mains. This could be a factor that could endanger life or property in the event of a fire, which met a third criteria for the substandard declaration. 

To meet the blight designation requirement, at least two of 10 subjective criteria must exist, along with one of five objective criteria.

The qualifying subjective deficiencies included defective or inadequate street layout, improper subdivision or obsolete platting, faulty lot layout for accessibility and street deterioration, age of utilities and an average age of structures in the proposed area of 40 years or more.


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