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St. Petersburg staff to present alternative uses for downtown TIF

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg city staff will present ideas on how to expand the use of Tax Incremental Funds downtown to relieve the city’s budgetary burden. City Council member Karl Nurse wants to see whether there’s a way to tap into the portion of property tax money set aside for projects within the downtown TIF district for projects not traditionally considered under the program.

Particularly, Nurse is hoping to use the money for sewer infrastructure repairs.

“Every time you build a block, if you could pay for that replacement infrastructure would be a good thing,” Nurse said.

Council member Jim Kennedy specifically asked that the staff report include information on whether or not TIF could be used for sewer repairs. He also requested that the report coincide with the last Budget, Finance and Taxation meeting in March, when that committee is expected to address the city’s aging sewage infrastructure.

Even if the city identifies projects to fund through TIF, those items will still require county approval because the county serves as the financial steward for the TIF.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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