Small Victory for Mall at Turtle Creek

July 19, 2004 -- Posted 10:30 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- A significant victory for developers Burrow, Belz, and Hocker at Tuesday night's city council meeting in Jonesboro.

City council members voted to recreate a development district at the Mall at Turtle Creek.

"It's very unique, it's a very upscale project, and we are truly excited," said Developer Bruce Burrow.

The decision opens the door to fund infrastructure work at the mall site using a tax incremental financing system. It's an economic plan that became legislation a few years ago.

"The developer still has to pay the same amount of taxes that you and I pay on their property, it's just a matter that some of those taxes are allocated to pay off that bond issue that was created on the front end to generate the pot of money, and the balance of taxes go in the same way that taxes go to that," said Attorney Tim Grooms.

What does this decision mean for the city of Jonesboro and the tax payers?

If this district actually gets to issue bonds, those bonds are not obligations of the city of Jonesboro, and therefore the city is not putting any of its own money at risk.

"The city really doesn't have any ongoing responsibilities in regards to that," said Grooms.

A final approval of this ordinance, and the entire mall plan is expected in coming weeks.