ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) — Elkins City Council called a special council meeting just before its regularly scheduled meeting regarding creating Redevelopment District No. 1, approval of Project Plan No. 1, as well as the issuance of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) obligations.

During the regular meeting, Elkins City Council also read and approved a resolution allowing the TIF application submitted to create a new TIF district in the city to be called “The City of Elkins Redevelopment District No. 1” along with public infrastructure projects and improvements within the TIF District. The City will move forward by submitting its application to the West Virginia Department of Economic Development for approval.  

“What it will do is create a way for the council to capture an increase in taxes that are going to be generated from economic development,” Elkins City Clerk Jessica Sutton said. “So, we saw a really good opportunity with several projects that were already happening. We have the redevelopment of the Tygart Hotel, the Randolph County Development Authorities’ purchase of some additional property to increase their industrial park, development within the existing Rail Yard area, and a few other projects. Once those projects start moving forward and buildings are built and or redeveloped and new economic opportunities are created that is going to generate new tax income.” 

The approval of the TIF District and the planned project will allow for the development of infrastructure improvements within the TIF District. The improvements allowed within Redevelopment District No. 1 are:

  • Water lines
  • Sanitary sewer lines
  • Gas lines
  • Stormwater drainage
  • Telecommunications
  • Cable
  • Fiber optic
  • Electric
  • Related public infrastructure improvements and relocations
  • Culverts and facilities
  • Wetlands mitigation
  • Road improvements
  • Streetscape systems
  • Sidewalks
  • Traffic control
  • Pedestrian ways and systems
  • Curbing
  • Gutters
  • Street lighting
  • Public trail improvements
  • Riverfront improvements and facilities
  • Land and right of way acquisition
  • Demolition and site preparation necessary
  • Incidentals

All of those within or contiguous with the TIF District to facilitate the issuance of tax increment financing obligations or the utilization of tax increment revenues to finance the costs of planning, acquiring, constructing and equipping the TIF Projects, being necessary public infrastructure improvements within or benefitting the TIF District.

“I do not know the timeline on the completion of Corridor H but we absolutely want to be in the right position when it is completed, we want people to be able to, I mean it’s beneficial as that corridor is going to be for transportation, we also want people to be motivated to leave the corridor and come into downtown Elkins whether that’s for business or pleasure,” Sutton said. “We understand the connection it is going to create between our small community and much larger communities like D.C. and other cities in Virginia and beyond. And we want to be ready for that, this is a way we can do that, we need to invest in this infrastructure, we need to invest in economic development for the future so we can then use that as a snowball and continue to generate more.”

Councilmembers said they feel the newly formed TIF district will benefit the city and its residents by facilitating the orderly development and economic stability of the city and that development will encourage investing in job-producing, private development and expand the public tax base of the City. Councilmembers said that future capital improvements will result in the increase in the value of property located in the TIF District and encourage increased employment and business activity, serving a public purpose of the city.