Branson Board of Aldermen to act on Aquarium at the Boardwalk
On Feb. 12 Regular meeting, the Branson Board of Aldermen (Board) is scheduled to take action on deciding whether or not to approve Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for the Aquarium on the Boardwalk project. If approved, Kuvera Partners, through its affiliated entity, Branson Entertainment Center – Branson, LLC, will build the $51 million aquarium. It will be build in the northwest corner of the Grand Palace property, at the corner of Glory Road and Highway 76.
Aquarium at the Boardwalk has TIF Commission Approval
The Board is acting on a unanimous vote of the Branson TIF Commission recommending approval of the TIF Plan for the building of the “Aquarium at the Boardwalk.” It came after a public meeting and hearing, during which the projects developer emphasized that research studies show that an aquarium is the most desired new Branson attraction by both past visitors and potential visitors.
Process involves three separate Board actions
The complete process nvolves
three separate actions by the Board. The first is the approval of a bill “making specific findings regarding the Aquarium at the Boardwalk Tax Increment Financing Plan, approving the Aquarium at the Boardwalk Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Plan, designating a Redevelopment Area and the Redevelopment Project included therein, declaring the Proposed Redevelopment Area a Blighted Area, designating Branson Entertainment Center – Branson, LLC, as the developer of the Redevelopment Project, approving the negotiation and entrance into a contract with Branson Entertainment Center – Branson, LLC for the implementation of the Aquarium at the Boardwalk Tax Increment Financing Plan, and approving the appropriate Tax Increment Financing be initiated.”
That will be followed by a separate bill approving “Redevelopment Project Area 1 of the Aquarium at the Boardwalk Tax Increment Financing Plan and adopting Tax Increment Financing therein.” The total Redevelopment Project has been divided into two “Redevelopment Project Areas.” Ailenn Stein, Director Corporate Communications, Kuvera Partners, said the TIF is being requested and TIF Revenue will be captured only for Redevelopment Project Area 1, the 1.64 acre tract of land upon which the Aquarium will be constructed. No TIF is being requested and no TIF Revenue will be captured from Redevelopment Project Area 2, which is the remaining 11.62 acres of the 13.26 acre Grand Palace property.
The final step is a bill approving the TIF “contract between the City of Branson, Missouri and Branson Entertainment Center – Branson LLC for the implementation of the Aquarium at the Boardwalk Tax Increment Financing Plan and authorizing the Mayor to execute the agreement.”
Second reading for Aquarium at the Boardwalk project Feb. 26
The action the Board takes on Feb. 12 is the “first reading” of each of the three bills. They will not become final until the “second reading” at the Boards next regular meeting scheduled for 26 Feb. Approval is almost automatic at the second meeting because the three bills will be placed on the Consent Agenda for that meeting. The Consent Agenda is normally approved with one vote covering the multiple items on the Agenda. There is no discussion unless an Alderman, or someone from the audience, asks that an individual item be removed from the Consent Agenda and placed on the Regular Agenda.