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Plainfield looking to create more jobs, stimulate economy

Madhu Mayer- news@thetimesweekly.com | 4/17/2019, 11:19 p.m.
The Village of Plainfield is hoping that relinquishing the power of bonding authority to another governmental body will continue to ...

The Village of Plainfield is hoping that relinquishing the power of bonding authority to another governmental body will continue to create jobs and stimulate the area's economy.

The Plainfield recently adopted an ordinance authorizing the ceding of private activity bonding authority to the Will Kankakee Regional Development Authority (WKRDA).

Traci Pleckham, director of management services for the Village of Plainfield, said the action has no financial impact or pose risks to the community.

Each year, she explains, the Village of Plainfield based on its home rule status and in accordance with the Internal Revenue Service receives an allocation of private activity bonding cap from the State of Illinois. This volume code can be used to issue tax exempt private activity bonds for certain qualifying low-income housing and industrial development projects.

Based on a population of 43,926 times $105, Plainfield's 2019 volume cap is $4.61 million. State law requires all home-rule municipalities to reserve their allocations prior to May 1. If the village did nothing, then the cap reverts to the Governor's office for reallocation to projects around the state and not the region, Pleckham adds.

Andrew Hamilton, executive director of WKRDA, which has an office at 116 N. Chicago St. in Joliet, said the agency has mutually benefitted from working with other communities that have allowed the organization to issue over $87.4 million in bonds, thus creating more than 820 jobs.

WKRDA is an economic development tool available in Will and Kankakee counties that helps to lower the cost of financing for businesses, not-for-profits, senior housing and public projects in the region.

Since 1997, industrial projects have brought jobs to communities like Kankakee, Bolingbrook, Plainfield and Joliet, Hamilton said. Inwood Park Partners and Unimast Inc. are just some of the projects the WKRDA initiated in Joliet, resulting in more than 100 new jobs.