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City Won't Get TIF Money Back From Republic

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jan 12, 2009 9:25PM

Today, aldermen learned that the time-frame for suing Republic Windows & Doors to recoup $9.3 million in TIF funds that was issued to the company has expired. The money was given to Republic on the condition "that the company create 549 jobs and retain them for eight years." Unfortunately for the city, that agreement was signed in June 1998, meaning it expired two-and-a-half years ago. Corporation Counsel Mara Georges told the City Council today that even if the city did have legal standing to sue Republic, their chances of succeeding were slim: "It's a bankruptcy with very few assets. They don't even own the building anymore. It's a market dependent on the construction industry. And with the economy being what it is, they don't have a lot of prospects." Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) was among many aldermen who called for amending future TIF deals to prevent a similar occurrence, saying, "Republic Windows clearly knew that something was wrong as their business declined. They didn't tell anybody. They basically just walked out of town on us."