Oak Creek — The city's common council gave its preliminary approval for staff to being work on Tax Incremental Financing District 13, which encompasses the Lake Vista neighborhood in the 4th District.

According to Director of Community Development Doug Seymour, the TIF would cover 554 acres in Oak Creek.  The district would include most of the lakefront east of 5th Avenue between Bender Park and the MMSD water reclamation facility.

All council members except Mark Verhalen of the third district voted in favor of getting things moving toward creating the TIF at the Nov. 15 council meeting.

In a TIF (or TID), new property tax dollars generated by a new development help to finance some upfront costs of construction.

Seymour said in addition to Lake Vista Park, there are three more development sites nearby included in the TIF.  Additionally, with the inclusion of Bender Park, he said the city could partner with the county for improvements there using TIF funding.

Seymour added the council had discussions previously to amend TID 6 to make it a donor TID for this newly-planned TIF district.

"The council, in some fashion, discussed this possibility when they were discussing the bids for the Lake Vista Park project," he said.

A presentation of the Lake Vista Park project was recently made to the city's plan commission.  Work on the project is set to begin sometime this fall according to Oak Creek Planner Kari Papelbon.  She said the park is expected to be fully open in early 2018.

The next step in creating the new TIF is for the joint review board to convene and for a project plan to be created.  The proposed TIF will still come before the plan commission and then back to the common council.

A public hearing will also be held before final approval.

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