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Plan would allow private money vehicle for mall

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SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — The developers of an outlet mall in Southaven want to create a public improvement district so they can pursue private financing for infrastructure improvements to the site.

Outlet Shops of the Mid-South would locate on a 324,000-square-foot facility to be built in Southaven.

A public improvement district would have a board of directors that may issue bonds and collect assessments from property owners in the district to pay for the infrastructure improvements such as water and sewer systems, roads and other improvements.

The debt is not backed by the city, county or the state.

Since the 33 acres where the $165 million outlet mall will be built at Interstate 55 and Church Road is within the city limits of Southaven, developers must petition the city to allow the establishment of the district.

The city must hold a public hearing within 45 days of filing of the petition.

A public notice about the hearing must also be published at least once a week for four weeks before the hearing.

Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite tells The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/1kI2TjJ) the city council will meet Monday to look at the proposal and to set a date for a public hearing

"By law, for a public improvement district to be created within the city limits of the municipality, the city has to approve that.

"We have to approve a public hearing, and then later we may approve the actual PID. The PID has its own board and can raise private financing by issuing bonds," Musselwhite said.

"The PID affects no one except the people in the PID, and in this case that would be the retail businesses," Musselwhite said. "It will have no impact on the citizens within the city of Southaven."

Memphis-based developers Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers, part of the development group building the outlet mall, has already qualified and been approved for $34 million in sales tax rebates.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com

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