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July 9, 2014

Legacy Trails expected to be regional draw to TIF retail district

NORMAN — The Norman City Council approved a Business Improvement District on Tuesday to pay for maintenance of Legacy Park.

The park is expected to be a regional draw, enhancing the University North Park retail area and bringing people to the area for dining and shopping. The city-owned park should be completed in October.

The BID was conceived as a vehicle to support maintenance costs of Legacy Park and Legacy Trail within the University North Park TIF district on 24th Avenue Northwest, north of Robinson Street.

As outlined in Development Agreement No. 5, the BID will provide $200,000 annually for maintenance of Legacy Park and Legacy Trail throughout the TIF district. To assist the BID in its development, $900,000 of TIF funds will offset a portion of the BID assessments against individual property owners in the first eight years, according to city staff reports.

An advisory board will allow input from affected businesses. The board will have two representatives from the hospitality industry in the UNP appointed by Embassy Suites, two representatives from retain appointed by the largest UNP retail owner, one representative of the UNP and four representatives appointed by the city.

In the first year, the full $200,000 of estimated costs for Legacy Park and Legacy Trail maintenance will be provided to the BID from accumulated tax increment finance apportionments, according to staff reports.

The TIF portion of the contribution reduces each year as the area develops. In the second year of the BID, $175,000 would come from TIF revenues with $25,000 in assessments spread among all owners of developed property. In the third year, the TIF portion would be $150,000 with the other $50,000 coming from assessments and so on each year until business assessments support the full $200,000.

In other city business Tuesday night, the council approved:

· Acceptance of a $15,315 grant to Norman and Cleveland County from the U.S. Department of Justice. Norman’s portion of $13,815 will be used by the Norman police for training and equipment.

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