JAY - The Delaware County commissioner narrowly passed a financial proposal on Monday to establish a tax increment financing district to rebuild a Grand Lake luxury resort.

The commissioners voted 2-1, with Kenneth Crowder and Dave Kendrick in favor of the proposal and Billy Cornell opposing the proposition.

In attendance at the meeting was both local legislatures, Sen. Charles Wyrick, D-Fairland and Rep. Dr. Doug Cox, R-Grove, who supported the proposal.

The vote was delayed one week after Cornell said he wanted another week to research the legal issues.

The proposal would provide $25 million in tax revenue over 25 years to developers of the Peninsula Resort, for amenities associated with the construction of a new hotel resort where Shangri-La Resort once stood.

The luxury resort near Grove was known for its golf courses in the 1970s and 1980s before hard economic times brought multiple ownership changes and bankruptcies.

The next step is finalizing agreements between the county and Peter J. Boylan III, said Dan Batchelor, Center for Economic Development Law in Oklahoma City.

“We are very excited about this wonderful opportunity for Delaware County and the state of Oklahoma,” Boylan said. “We are especially thankful to the community for their broad based support of the proposed TIF district that included an 8-1 vote in favor by the review board.”

Boylan said, along with the state matching payments, the new marina permit approved by Grand River Dam Authority and FERC should provide the key ingredients to obtain the necessary financing to begin construction later this year.

According to the Grand River Dam Authority, an application for a doc permit has not been filed for the Peninsula.

“It is our hope that Oklahoma and Grand Lake will once again draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to this beautiful part of our state,” Boylan said.

What is a TIF district?

TIF is a financing mechanism to encourage development of property that otherwise is too costly to development for a variety of reasons. “TIF”, or tax increment financing, is a tool for the eradication of blight, the enhancement of conditions that cause blight, and a means for municipalities to use the growth in tax revenues - produced by an increase in real property taxes generated within a specified, eligible area of the municipality - to pay for the costs of (re)developing that area. When created, these revenues are deposited into a separate account. The revenues are then used to pay for a wide variety of permissible “redevelopment project costs.”