ST. ALBANS CITY โ€” St. Albans City tonight at 7 will hold the first of two public hearings prior to a Tuesday, Sept. 10, bond vote regarding construction of a new parking garage.

The meeting will be held at St. Albans City Hall.

The city is seeking voter approval of a $13 million bond for the construction of the garage and improvements to the intersection of Lake and Federal streets.

The bond would be repaid from tax increment financing (TIF) funds. The city is one six Vermont communities with an approved TIF district.

When the city created its district in April 2012, a snapshot of the value of the properties within the district was taken. As those properties increase in value, 75 percent of the property taxes, including education taxes, on those properties may be diverted to pay for TIF projects.

This project would add two properties to the city’s tax rolls. The new state office building will be leased and the owner will pay property taxes on the building. The current state office building on Houghton Street also will be sold to Mylan Technologies, Inc., giving the company room to expand from its current Lake Street campus.

In addition, the city is in discussions with a hotel developer to build a hotel on Lake Street. The hotel would utilize the garage for parking for its employees and guests.

Overall, the city estimates the three buildings would add $20 million to the city’s grand list.

The city also has increment โ€“ or income from the increased value of properties within the district โ€“ coming from the recently completed expansion of Mylan Technologies, the construction of the new St. Albans Cooperative Creamery and the expansion of its processing facility, and the current construction of a new Ace Hardware on Main Street.

The TIF district encompasses the downtown and the planned Federal Street extension which runs south from Lower Newton Street to the I-89 Access Road that leads to Exit 19.
The garage itself is planned to have five levels and 370 spaces. The state plans to purchase 170 of those for the staff of the new office building, with 100 spaces potentially allocated for the hotel. The remaining spaces would be for public use.

Last week, the city began demolition on the first of three buildings that need to be removed to make way for the new garage and state office building. Those buildings are the Moose Lodge and Rail City Salon on Lake Street and the former Brickyard Tavern on Federal Street.

The second public hearing on the garage project is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 9, also at 7 p.m.