City snatches TIF money for rainy day fund

The City of Missoula is set to pull millions of dollars from its special urban renewal fund for the second year in a row. But this time the cash grab is for the opposite reason, Mayor John Engen announced Wednesday.

Last year, the city pulled $2.7 million from the urban renewal funds, controlled by the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, to cover a budget shortfall. This year the city is pulling $2.8 million from the fund because there’s more than enough money available all around.

“This is a remarkably successful program and the growth there allows us to consider some options that we just haven’t been able to in past years,” Engen told the city Budget Committee, which consists of all the council members.

The option the mayor has proposed is to build the city’s rainy day fund while the city and the urban renewal districts are having a particularly prosperous year. The city won’t see the whole $2.8 million though, as it must be split with the county, schools and other voter-approved bonds and levies. The city’s cut will be about $725,000.

The city has set a rainy day fund goal of

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