URA Gets Feedback About Downtown Expansion


By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency is beginning the process of expanding downtown.

Wednesday night they held a public hearing to get feedback from the community.

The Urban Renewal Agency is moving full steam ahead with its plan to breathe new life into downtown Twin Falls. Wednesday's meeting was about getting feedback from the community.

"We want to understand what the community is interested in as agency helping with public investment," said Melinda Anderson, Economic Development Director, Twin Falls.

"We hope to get some creative ideas that we can work with within the structure that the law allows us to do," said Gary Garnand, URA Chairman.

The public feedback will help them define the boundaries of the expansion.

"Public investment would look like infrastructure, water and sewer lines, street improvements, new parking," said Anderson.

By law the agency can only expand the tiff, or tax increment financing area, by ten percent.

That equates to roughly sixty acres or sixteen city blocks.

So, why expand the current area instead of creating a new one?

"If we create a new area then we end up having to wait until the money is generated in the area. This way we can use monies that's already being generated," said Garnand.

A vibrant downtown is an important factor in economic development.

"A lot of companies look at the downtown to see what the community is really about," said Garnand.

It should take a month or less to expand the boundaries and move forward.

The whole process will take between five and six months.

It's important to mention that this tiff area matures in 2022, so there's only about eight years left.

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