Riverside authorizes up to $14m in industrial project bonds

The Riverside Board of Aldermen approved a substantial bond issuance to cover the sales tax of a major industrial project during its regular meeting Oct. 7 at City Hall. The city issued up to $14 million in Chapter 100 Bonds to BABRA, LLC, which allows the sales tax on the purchase of tangible personal property to be waived. BABRA will construct a nearly 250,000 square foot facility in the Argo Innovation Park District. BABRA, a real estate development company, will then look for a tenant to the building as the bonds do not cover the purchase of manufacturing equipment.

The plan cleared the first hurdle in early September when the city approved the plan for development. That approval then went to the state which certified the project as eligible for the bonds.

Companies eligible for Chapter 100 bond financing include manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, office, research and development, agricultural processing and services in interstate commerce, acccording to the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Criteria to qualify for the special bonds in Missouri include above-average wages with benefits or location in an economically distressed or blighted area, local incentives provided to the project commensurate with the state incentives in relations to the new state/local tax revenues created by the project, a positive state fiscal benefit to include all the state incentives proposed for the project and an indication that the city or county have approved the local sales tax exemption.

The City of Riverside has invested nearly $100 million to revitalize the Argo Innovation Park District, located on previously unused land in the Missouri River Bottoms. The city first constructed a levy at a $25 million price tag then built the infrastructure necessary for development at nearly $50 million.

The city also approved language to allow future tenants to seek funding from loans through the existing Argo Innovation Park Development Project.

“It is vital to our city,” Riverside finance director Donna Resz said. “The city paid to put in the levy. We put in the infrastructure.

Without development, that is just land. This is a mechanism to help us get repaid for our investment.”

Also at the meeting, the city approved an easement for Missouri American Water to provide water service to the new building.

The aldermen also approved a measure for the emergency replacement of HVAC units at the community center and entered into an agreement with Wayside Waifs to provide for the city’s Animal Shelter needs.