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HomeNewsCounty leaders opt out of downtown development plans

County leaders opt out of downtown development plans

Mayor Johnny Piper and the Downtown District Partnership will be going it alone when it comes to downtown development.

County Mayor Bowers, center, opens ad hoc cmte meeting with concerned minority citizens
County Mayor Bowers, center, in anad hoc meeting with concerned minority citizens (CO archive photo)

Montgomery County mayor Carolyn Bowers, in letters sent to Piper and DDP chair Scott Giles, said the county will not participate in the controversial Clarksville Center Redevelopment Plan, which had been dubbed “the blight bill.” The proposed plan which was approved by the City Council earlier this year had been strongly opposed by the Clarksville Property Owners Coalition, a grassroots group that has challenged the legality of the program and process of eminent domain and an assemblage clause. The redevelopment plan would offer tax increment financing for certain property developments.

Mayor Johnny Piper addresses concerned residents at redevelopment hearing

Bowers indicated that county officials wanted “more time” to review and analyze the project and study alternatives.

Without county participation, the tax incentive financing would affect only city taxes; the county would also not participate in decisions on which projects will be supported.

In her response, Bowers said simply that the county by concensus “declined.” The county mayor then added that the county was seeking projects with a “countywide” impact and allow greater participation in and benefit from such development.

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