Ellisville Looking For More Offers On Proposed Shopping Center

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ELLISVILLE, MO. (KTVI) – After tax breaks for a new Walmart led to an impeachment and court fight in Ellisville, leaders are considering more tax breaks for more retail shops.

Fox 2 was there when the new proposal was unveiled Monday night.

The project is slated for the southwest corner of Manchester and Kiefer Creek, the site of a former car dealership, adjacent to the Walmart site.

The timing is really questionable, with Ellisville still in a legal-political quagmire over the last TIF, here comes another one.

It would be for the Ellisville Town Center project:  12 acres of retail shops and restaurants.

The Ellisville Economic Development Commission got its first look at the $30 million dollar plan Monday night.

$10 million would come taxpayer financing; likely another TIF

'Asking for $10.5 million dollars on a $30 million dollar project.  It`s just a perfect example of what TIF is.  TIF is a tax.  It`s a slush fund that often goes unmonitored,' said suspended Ellisville Mayor, Adam Paul.

The city council suspended him after his repeated clashes with the council over $15-million dollars in subsidies for the proposed Walmart.

The Walmart proposal is still tied up in court.

A resident sued the city to stop it.

He said he would appeal a judge`s recent ruling in favor of the city.

The latest proposal comes within weeks of the mayor`s suspension.  It comes from the same developer, Sansone, behind the Walmart proposal.

Paul said it hardly seemed like a coincidence.

'I`m here for a reason.  The great residents of Ellisville are anti-TIF. I believe we started TIF reform in the region.   For the developer to come back asking for more tax increment financing and more incentives is preposterous.  I`ve never seen anything like that,' Paul said.

Paul did win a legal victory at a hearing Monday, forcing the city council to turn over documents detailing the council`s communications regarding his possible ouster.

His attorney still expected the council to remove the mayor from office, saying the votes were already lined up.

'I don`t think we`re going to get any justice in terms of this trier of fact; this jury, so to speak, which will be the council; the council which historically has had all the animosity against him,' said Paul`s attorney, Chet Pleban.

The Economic Development Commission, very aware of the turmoil engulfing their city, decided against supporting this plan. Instead they voted 4-0 to hold out for more proposals with something more than new places to shop and eat.

'Tying in with the great streets concept; trying to build these little pods people can live in, work in, they can shop in.  That`s what our vision was,' said commission chairman, Tom Weis.

Still no word on 'if' and 'when' Walmart construction may start.

The mayor`s impeachment trial is March 27th.

He expects to be ousted and then take the city to court to be reinstated.

Previous Stories:
Suspended Ellisville Mayor Speaks Out About Charges
FOX 2 Denied Entry Into Ellisville Mayor’s Impeachment Hearing
Ellisville Mayor Facing Possible Impeachment Over Tax Money
Ellisville Recall Effort Fails To Win City Council Support

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