Developer asks taxpayers to help pay for fixes for sinking Metro -

Developer asks taxpayers to help pay for fixes for sinking Metro East shopping center

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SHILOH ( – Businesses in a popular shopping center in the Metro East are sinking because of mine subsidence and now the city is looking to the taxpayers to pay for the problem.

If you walk inside some of the store in the Greenmount Crossing Shopping Center you might notice a few cracks across the floors.

“Concrete floors are cracking all over, we’ve got doors that aren’t opening or shutting properly, some of the other businesses have cracks running up the walls,” explained Joe Scharf who runs Paintball Outfitters.

For eight years, Scharf has operated Paintball Outfitters and it wasn't until 2015 year that his store literally started sinking.

“Initially it was two feet long, now it’s stretched the whole store,” he said describing just one of the cracks across his store.

The developers say the sinking is occurring because the mines below the complex are subsiding.

 “We weren’t expecting it at all, no one told us that any of this was mined at all,” Scharf said.

Developer Greenmount Crossing LLC is asking taxpayers to help remediate the problem.

“The owners of the property have requested the village make it a business improvement district to assist. It will add a one percent sales tax to that shopping center to asset with funding the remediation project,” explained Shiloh Mayor James Vernier.

Monday night, Shiloh’s board of trustees took the first step towards approving the implementation of a Business Improvement District, but many want to know why the problem was dealt with before the developers built the shopping center.

“The developers took a chance and it’s a very big expense to remediate mines so they saved themselves several million dollars by not doing it then. Unfortunately, it’s a gamble on whether or not it’s going to sink or not, and unfortunately it didn’t work out so well on us this time,” said Vernier.

That is not the response many business owners and shoppers want to hear.

“I don’t think that the customers should have to take on that responsibility for it to be fixed, now a one percent increase even in taxes will scare people off,” said Scharf.

The board of trustees are currently working on negotiations with the developers on how much of the remediation they will fund and where exactly that business district will start and end.

Greenmount Crossing LLC did not return calls placed by News 4.

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