Kenrick TIF Hearing Canceled Pending Late Site Changes
The public hearing set for Wednesday will be rescheduled again with several weeks notice.
Shrewsbury announced Tuesday that the public hearing Wednesday on the $20 million tax increment financing (TIF) assistance proposed for the redevelopment of Kenrick Plaza has been canceled.
The TIF commission heard at its last meeting on Nov. 9 that changes were being made to the site plan for the planned Walmart-anchored redevelopment. The commission was told that several of its questions would have to wait until the cost/benefit analysis of the redevelopment had been revised.
Shrewsbury's special counsel on the project, Mark Grimm, said then that the changes would be done in a week. But three weeks later, Shrewsbury Director of Administration Jonathan Greever said in the email announcement that the hearing would be rescheduled "if and/or when revisions reach finalization."
The public hearing was originally scheduled for Nov. 9, but had to be pushed back to Nov. 30 when the city missed its window to issue timely notification about the date.
TIF statutes require a public hearing for residents and organizations to weigh in on the TIF proposal and the controversial Kenrick redevelopment. After the hearing, the 12-member TIF commission, made up of representatives from local taxing districts, will have 30 days to vote on a nonbinding recommendation on the project.
At the Nov. 9 meeting, developer Gary Grewe told the commission that the site plan was being changed to not touch the guy wires of the nearby radio tower, so as to avoid “years of litigation.” Shrewsbury Mayor Felicity Buckley said she was pleased with the changes.
But TIF commission member and Affton School Board President Michael McNeil was not pleased that some of the commission's questions about the cost/benefit analysis, which had been submitted in writing, were put on hold for what Grimm said were "slight" changes.
"I’m frustrated to not have all the data. I want to do my job," McNeil said.
“I don’t understand why it took until now for the site plan to change,” added Shrewsbury Ward 2 Alderwoman Dee Wiecher, who was in the audience Nov. 9. “It’s unfortunate for the TIF commission.”
The commission had settled on a meeting right before the public hearing to discuss lingering questions, but this too will have to wait.
This is not the first time that the TIF commission process has failed to stay on schedule. Earlier in the process the commission had several aborted meetings due to members' conflicts.