Economic Development Incentives
Various economic incentives are available under Missouri law to help municipalities achieve their public objectives. The purpose of this Economic Incentives Policy is to provide guidance to property owners, prospects in Kearney, developers and site selection consultants on the use of public economic development tools.
The economic development goals of the City of Kearney include enhancement and support of existing business, diversification, broadening of the property tax base, stimulation of private investment, quality of materials and design, maintenance of environmental quality, creation and quality of employment opportunities and increased per capita income. Each project and request will be evaluated on its individual merit and overall contribution to the city.
This Policy is also designed to provide direction and an understanding of the city’s expectations regarding process, standards and policies that will be applied by the city for the use of these economic development tools.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES
The City of Kearney is committed to high quality, balanced growth and development of the community, to preserving the city’s character and to revitalizing and redeveloping areas of the city. The city recognizes the importance of continued economic development to meet the needs of its residents, and its obligation to balance the demand for economic development with the judicious use of economic development incentives, reserving the use of these incentives for projects that demonstrate significant public benefit. Accordingly, the city has established certain goals regarding the use of incentives:
- To promote, stimulate and develop the economic welfare of the city.
- To provide and maintain an attractive community that creates a positive public image and encourages individuals and families to locate and invest in the community.
- To encourage the use of public economic incentives in those locations and situations that provide the maximum public benefit.
- To limit the use of public economic incentives for the shortest duration while still providing for the desired level of public financial assistance.
- To allow for the use of public economic development incentives for housing to encourage mixed use, high density, and town houses/apartments/multi-family.
Achieving these objectives can lead to significant public benefit, retention of existing quality jobs, creation of new jobs, construction of public improvements, elimination of blight, increase in property values, increase in tax revenues, attraction of development absent or insufficient in the city and economic stability throughout the city. When appropriate, the city may utilize incentives in order to achieve its economic development goals. One or more incentives may be utilized depending on the application.
The granting of public economic incentives will be made according to the goals, processes and procedures of this policy.
The city is under no obligation to approve the use of a public incentive for any applicant. This policy is merely a guideline. The city reserves the right to modify or waive on a case-by case basis any of the procedures or limitations of this policy, provided all state and statutory requirements are fulfilled.
Each project must be viewed on its own merits under the market and public conditions that exist at the time of the request.
APPLICATION AND REVIEW PROCESS
- Applicants shall notify the city of their intent to pursue a development project that will make use of incentives. The pre-application worksheet shall accompany this notification. The Application must be submitted to the City Administrator’s office for review and processing.
- Applicants are required to first meet with city staff in a pre-qualification conference to determine the project eligibility.
- Each request for incentives shall require a funding agreement to cover the city’s costs and expenses, including legal fees and other third-party expenses, in substantially the form of the funding agreement attached to this document as Exhibit B, and submitted to the City Administrator’s office for review and processing. Processing of the application will not be scheduled or commenced until a funding agreement has been executed and fully funded.
- As determined by the Funding Agreement, an application deposit shall be paid to the city prior to initiating any work on a project.
- Any application that may be required by this policy may be obtained on the city’s website (kearneymo.us).
- Annually, city staff will be responsible for reviewing the performance of each recipient of funds for the previous year. The purpose of this review is to check for compliance with any documents related to the use of incentives and to gather information regarding completion of project, cumulative job creation, wage structure, and other such information necessary to gauge the performance of the company. The accountability review may include a site visit.
- Projects receiving the benefits of any economic development incentives for a project shall be required to include in the budget art or decorative improvements in the total construction budget of the private improvements. Projects with a total construction budget of at least $1 million will be favored, but projects that do not meet this threshold can be approved at the discretion of the Board of Aldermen of the City.
Carolyn Yatsook, Economic Development Director