“Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Gandhi

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About the Proposed Herron High School at Riverside

WHAT IS TAX INCREMENT FINANCING (TIF)?
TIF financing is when property tax revenue from a specific area is set aside for redevelopment, infrastructure, or other community-improvement projects in that area. The NW Area has a TIF district which generates approximately $630,000 annually. It has accumulated approximately $4.5 million dollars. By law, the TIF district funds are administered and controlled by the city Dept. of Metropolitan Development.

WHAT IS THE NWQOL TIF ADVISORY COMMITTEE AND WHAT DOES IT DO?
When the NWQOL plan was created in 2014, one of the resident goals was to have a committee of residents in the TIF district to advocate for its proper usage. This was an important goal because in the past, there was NO process to allow residents a voice in TIF funding decisions, which were typically made by the Department of Metropolitan Development with little resident engagement. The existing TIF resident committee, which stopped meeting when the city assigned staff person for it was fired in 2013, began meeting, again with 80% residents, and 20% business owners and community partners. The TIF Advisory Committee held numerous meetings for over a year to draft and negotiate a resident review process which set guidelines for developers. The guidelines were modeled on a similar agreement the Mid North neighborhood successfully used with DMD. The draft, now known as the UNWA TIF District Charter, created a process for residents to make recommendations to the City on the use of TIF funds. After multiple meetings and with support from our district Councilors and DMD leadership, it was agreed in early 2015 that recommendations from residents made through this process would be given strong consideration by the city.

HOW WAS THE RECOMMENDATION TO SUPPORT HERRON MADE?
Herron High School began discussing replication of their high performing high school to the NW area over two years ago with residents. They wanted to renovate the Armory into a high school for 575 students. They presented at three community meetings just like this one and they presented at multiple QOL committee meetings, and three TIF meetings. The committee required them to wait nearly a year until the guidelines were finished to make a formal request. When they completed the steps per the TIF Charter, the TIF Advisory committee reviewed it, scored it and presented it at the final community meeting for comment. The TIF Advisory board formulated their recommendations based off the QOL goals and needs of the community. The TIF committee presented the recommendation to the NWQOL Governance committee for their review, suggestions, and asked them to support the
recommendation, which they did.

WHY DID THE TIF ADVISORY COMMITTEE VOTE TO RECOMMEND SUPPORTING HERRON WITH TIF FUNDS?
After more than 12 months of discussion in and out of committee, the committee decided to recommend support for the Herron request based on the following factors:

1. Educational opportunity for our youth: Most Northwest Area youth currently attend Northwest high school. But many NW area parents would like to have a high-quality HS alternative within their neighborhood also. Herron HS has an A grade state rating, a 98% graduation rate and in 2015 was ranked in the top 1% of public high schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

2. Reuse of Heslar Naval Armory: Herron wants to locate in the former Heslar Naval Armory which is currently vacant. Because of its unique design, the Armory cannot be cost effectively converted to other uses. In addition, new zoning and flood plain regulations passed in 2015 make the building even more expensive to convert to a different use. If Herron is unable to locate a school there in 2017, because of the cost, the Armory will NOT be reused for anything else beneficial, nor will it be torn down because of its historic designation. It would remain a vacant
building for decades and left to slowly fall apart.

3. Other Positive impacts on neighborhood –
• Good schools attract new homeowners
• Temporary construction jobs and permanent school job opportunities for residents
• Increased human capital to attract new businesses
• A new anchor institution and ally for positive neighborhood change

WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT ON THE TIF BALANCE?
The TIF district currently has approximately $4.5 million dollars in it. If funded, the recommendation would reduce the balance to $3 million. However, the TIF currently takes in about $630,000 annually, so the balance will grow back. In addition, the positive impact on neighborhood home values will increase the amount of revenue going into the TIF district, making the balance grow faster and allowing even more opportunities for additional investments and projects in the future.

WHAT ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY AND NEIGHBORHOOD BENEFIT?
The NW area will receive a quality high school to educate our youth. Herron also agreed to the following conditions. Compliance with these conditions will be monitored by the community through active interaction and engagement:

Conditions to the Recommendation of Support

▪ At least 100% of project funding shall be committed before TIF funding is released and funds will be released only after proof of ownership of the site is presented.
▪ Herron must take affirmative steps to hire for construction contracts, pre and post construction jobs within the NWQOL.
▪ Herron must work alongside community partners to recruit potential candidates within the NWQOL boundaries for new job opportunities from the conception of the school.
▪ Developer will engage local access groups to assist in building and providing job screening for new jobs generated from the conception of project.
▪ Assure MBEs and WBEs are solicited for contractual projects during pre and post construction
▪ Herron will take affirmative steps to ensure maximum student enrollment from within the Northwest Quality of Life area through media, marketing and collaboration with neighborhood associations, churches, elementary & middle schools and Flanner House.
▪ Herron will collaborate with NWQOL development partners Insight and BWI to develop a marketing initiative to attract homeownership/commercial development in the vicinity of the school.

WHERE CAN WE LEARN MORE?
➢ Visit the NWQOL website www.nwqol.org
➢ Attend a TIF Advisory board meeting (2nd Tuesday of every month 6:00 pm @ Flanner House)
➢ Join a QOL committee, we need you! How do you join? Show up at a meeting!