LARWILL - Officials in Whitley County are launching an economic development plan and new Tax Increment Finance district in the town of Larwill. The partners say the initiative is an effort to boost investment and development for Larwill and the surrounding area.

The effort is a partnership among The Whitley County Redevelopment Commission, Whitley County Economic Development Corp. and the town of Larwill.

The TIF district would serve as a “public financing tool” that supports community improvement projects. Property tax revenue from increases in assessed values within the district would be designated for those community improvement projects. The plans call for attracting new businesses and employment possibilities, improving public space and focusing on improving the quality of life, according to officials.

The TIF project would focus on the extension of sanitary sewer to accommodate projected business growth north of U.S. 30 near State Road 5, as well as making improvements to downtown Larwill.

The new TIF district was approved by the Larwill Town Council and the Redevelopment Commission, which will allow for the capture of increased property tax revenues starting in 2020.

“The creation of a TIF district in and around Larwill will open new possibilities for existing and incoming businesses, as well as providing a tool for improvements in Larwill that have been difficult to accomplish,” said Nathan Bilger, executive director of the Columbia City/Whitley County Joint Planning and Building Department, which oversees planning for the County RDC and Town of Larwill. “We are eager to apply our successful experience from implementing TIF districts in the eastern side of Whitley County the past 30 years to the west side of the county into the future.”