Springfield Mayor, Aldermen Spar Over Downtown TIF
Springfield Mayor, Aldermen Spar Over Downtown TIF

A matter of miscommunication?  At least one Springfield alderman thinks so and says he is getting frustrated.  Ward 1 Alderman Frank Edwards says Springfield Mayor Mike Houston and the city council are not on the same wavelength even though council members ask questions.

“When (reporters) ask the disconnect question — we ask, it takes us a long time to get the answers. Sometimes we don’t get the answers and we all get frustrated,” says Edwards.

Edwards, Ward 7 Alderman Joe McMenanin and Ward 5 Alderman Sam Cahnman held a news conference to refute Houston’s claim the downtown TIF district is out of money. Houston last week chastised aldermen for continuing to approve projects to use downtown TIF money even though he says it’s almost tapped out.

Aldermen showed reporters numbers from the city’s economic development office that shows a $3 million balance. At present there are nearly $16 million in committments, including the latest project to spend $50,000 on a downtown mural project.

Aldermen say that number is deceiving, as more than $26 million is expected to flow into the fund between now and Fiscal Year 2018, when the committments for the district are set to be paid off.