Cary putting together economic plan

CARY – The village is in the process of developing an economic development plan, which coincides with the development of its comprehensive plan update.

A final draft of the economic development plan is expected to be presented in November.

“It’s important to establish long-term goals so when we’re making policy decisions, we’re able to look back on those goals and see if we’re able to achieve our economic development initiatives,” Director of Community and Economic Development Chris Stilling said.

The plan also discusses the use of incentives, such as sales-tax reimbursements and in which situations the Village Board should approve them, Stilling said.

This would help prevent the view that there are inconsistencies in the application of incentive guidelines.

No job or revenue requirements are written into the plan, “so we have the opportunity to look at small deals and big deals,” Stilling said.

Any kind of sales-tax sharing request would have to be reviewed by the Village Board.

“If there was a situation presented, seeking sales-tax incentives, we would have to have a separate economic incentive agreement and list out specific performance standards,” Stilling said.

Incentives also could come in the form of tax increment financing district funding in the village’s two TIF districts, grants or a reduction in village fees.

Under the proposal, incentives must provide a demonstrable return to the village, be part of a project consistent with the vision for the community and be necessary for the project to go forward.

Sometimes incentives could be a key to landing a business.

If all things were equal between two communities in terms of the permitting and zoning process, certain incentives could influence where a business decides to locate, Stilling said.

The economic development plan outlines four goals: retain, expand and attract commercial and industrial businesses; promote general economic development and business growth; increase municipal revenue sources and identify incentives for specific development opportunities; and encourage redevelopment along key commercial corridors.

There are four key commercial areas listed in the plan: the Selcke property on Jandus Cutoff and Route 14; the Damisch Farm property on Route 31; property along Three Oaks Road; and the former Maplewood School property.

Within the plan, there also is an implementation strategies, which include developing a “Welcome to Cary” program for new businesses, developing a shop local program, facilitating local manufacturing mixers and developing a business resource handbook.

The village also recently began the process of updating its comprehensive plan, which would include statements and goals on utilities, transportation and land use, Stilling said.

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