Commonwealth Journal

News Live

August 22, 2013

Downtown Somerset ‘springing to life’

City Council praises ongoing revitalization


Somerset —

City officials have met in recent weeks to discuss the TIF plan, and what it will take for the city to reach the $20 million spending threshold. The city already has a jump on that with its energy center project, to be located on the corner of East Mt. Vernon and College Streets. The cost of that project is expected to be at around $8.5 million. 
But that leaves up to another $11.5 million in spending to reach the threshold. 
Girdler recently confirmed that another project was in its earliest planning stages, but he’s declined to release details of that publicly until the project can be agreed upon by all parties. 
“If the other piece of the puzzle does not come into play, there’s no way we will even approach a TIF project,” said Girdler during the meeting. “It’s just not feasible without this other part.” 
Girdler told city councilors they should expect a workshop meeting to be held on the possible project. 
“ ... It’s going to be an exciting project,” said Girdler. 
Girdler has stressed that none of this will come at any extra cost to the taxpayer, as meeting the $20 million spending figure will all the city to issue revenue bonds.
“You’ve just got to have everything set in stone before you reach out to a TIF project. ... Either you have it or you don’t,” said Girdler. “If you don’t have it, you better walk away from it.” 

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