Two Chosen For TIF Commission

“The Affton School Board wants its top financial advisor and its vice president to be among the 12 persons who will guide the creation of a tax-increment financing (TIF) district that proposes to turn the ailing Kenrick Plaza into a Walmart-anchored retail development.

In response to a letter from the city of Shrewsbury, the board unanimously agreed to nominate district business manager John Brazeal and Board Vice President Mike McNeil to sit on the soon-to-convene Shrewsbury TIF Commission.

“As a board member and a Shrewsbury resident, I will be happy to serve,” said McNeil.

Brazeal, who dealt with TIF issues while working for the city of Arnold, said he has been attending Shrewsbury City Council meetings since the city announced this summer its intention to create the tax-abatement district.

The school district has not yet received an official cost/benefit analysis from the city, but Brazeal has estimated a real-estate TIF could cost Affton public schools about $250,000 in any additional revenues a TIF would generate.

Interim Superintendent Ken Weissflug explained that the TIF commission, by law, must have two representatives from public school districts.

All public school districts within St. Louis County — about 20 — must assent to the Affton District’s appointments or offer names of other individuals to represent county public education.

As the Affton District and the Special School District are the ones affected by a potential TIF, the district board isn’t anticipating any opposition to the appointment of Brazeal and McNeil.

In her letter to the district, Shrewsbury Mayor Felicity Buckley said the appointments are due by Jan. 16 but “the time and place for the first TIF commission meeting have not been finalized.””

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Printed in the South County Times on January 14, 2011

Article by Joe Leicht

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