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Agency approved to study use of TADs

LAWRENCEVILLE - With approval from the Board of Commissioners Tuesday, a panel of economic development leaders will study where tax allocation districts could help redevelop Gwinnett County.

The board set up a redevelopment agency with a member appointed by the board as well as the county and chamber's economic development leaders, a representative from local community improvement districts and the director of planning and development. While commissioners will still make the decisions on when and where to use a tax allocation district, the agency will create a redevelopment plan.

"I think it's real good we put these experts together to evaluate where it is appropriate," Commissioner Bert Nasuti said. "I'm happy to move it forward. It'll give us an opportunity to do some good things in southern Gwinnett."

The use of the districts, where officials can leverage bonds to pay for infrastructure improvements based on the expected growth in tax revenues caused by the revitalization of an area, was approved by voters in July by a margin of 58 percent to 42 percent.

Officials with the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District said they will likely have a proposal ready to submit by this fall.

"The CID has several potential catalyst sites, and a TAD would allow us to attract a higher quality of development by providing needed infrastructure improvements that will overcome the challenges caused by traffic congestion in our area," said Joe Allen, the CID's executive director. "TADs are said to work well in areas where property is under-used and in need of infrastructure improvements to spur revitalization. A TAD could be key to helping us assist those who will upgrade our area in the future."