The Knox Redevelopment Commission has committed up to $80,000 in Tax Increment Financing money to a couple of Mayor Dennis Estok’s initiatives. He asked them for $40,000 to help pay for the splash pad in Wythogan Park. The city council has approved the expenditure of money from the Economic Development Income Tax and Riverboat funds to cover the rest of the cost. TIF funds are captured from commercial and industrial property within a designated area.
Estok notes one of the main goals for the year is to improve the park in order to provide quality of life for Knox residents and make the city more attractive to businesses looking to grow or expand. That, in turn, will boost the city’s tax base.
An additional $40,000 in TIF money was approved for construction of an ampitheatre, restrooms and concession facilities in the park. Estok says the city has applied for a matching grand to cover part of the cost and will know in May whether they’ve been approved. If not he plans to ask the city council to allocate money for the project.
Estok adds the projects are an investment in the city’s future.
“Everything goes hand in hand. You need industry, you need jobs, you need businesses, you need amenities for the people. That’s how you grow.”
Equipment for the splash pad has been ordered. Estok has gotten most of the labor for the project donated and says construction will start soon. It will be located on the east side of the park near U.S. 35. A location for the ampitheatre has not been decided yet.