Key West accepting capital-projects applications
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Public and private groups have until Sept. 28 to apply for some $850,000 in Key West property tax revenue that is set aside annually for capital projects in the Bahama Village neighborhood of Old Town.
The money is generated through what’s called a tax increment fund; in 1996 a large chunk of Bahama Village and non-contiguously the Caroline Street Corridor were established as community redevelopment areas. Any growth in property tax revenue above the 1996 level is diverted into the TIF.
Assistant City Manager Mark Finigan says this year, the TIF estimate for the Bahama Village redevelopment area is around $850,000; that’s up from $579,000 that was available for allocation last year.
Applications are available on the city’s website at www.keywestcity.com under the Planning Department page or at City Hall in Habana Plaza on Flagler Avenue. Planner Nicole Malo, available at 809-3778, can answer questions about the process.
This is the fourth year of a public TIF funding process; projects previously funded include renovations to the Bethel AME Zion Church, the Masonic Lodge, Cornish Memorial AME Zion Church and an ongoing rehabilitation of Nelson English Park on Catherine Street.
In the last TIF cycle, $170,000 was allocated to the Bahama Village park and used to develop a master plan and install new signs and playground equipment. Finigan says the city, as an applicant, plans to seek more funding to complete the park renovation.
Nelson English was the first, and only, black postmaster in the Southernmost City, appointed in 1882 and serving until 1886.
Specifics of the requests for TIF money will be presented later this year to the Bahama Village Redevelopment Advisory Committee for consideration and subsequent recommendation to the Key West City Commission, which has final authority to divvy up the $850,000.