RIDGELAND — A proposed Mercedes-Benz dealership off the new I-55 frontage road here is eyeing TIF status for construction from the city.

City officials voted 4-2 to pass a resolution to set a hearing for Tax Increment Financing plan for the planned Higginbotham Automotive Project for the next city board meeting on July 19. The dealership would be relocating from Jackson.

Matt Dodd with the city said that the dealership is set to go up on the south corner of Steed and Sunnybrook Road and extends to the new Frontage Road.

Community Development Director Alan Hart said that no address has been designated because no structure exists on the parcel of land and any proposed construction is likely a ways off.

“There is no schedule for construction at this point since the project has not even been considered by the Board of Aldermen,” Hart said.

Hart did confirm that this is the same Higginbotham Automotive Mercedes of Jackson and that “they are considering relocating to Ridgeland.”

Alderman at large D.I. Smith and Ward 1 Alderman Ken Heard, who participated in the meeting remotely through video chat, voted against. Ward 2 Alderman Chuck Gautier was absent.

Smith thought the hearing was “improper” based on a pending recommendation from the zoning board that is set to meet Thursday evening. The zoning board will make a recommendation to city officials to rezone the property from ME-1 to C-4 with a conditional use permit for a dealership.

Two other dealerships are on the north side of Street.

“I am concerned that setting a hearing before zoning is in place is putting the cart before the horse,” Smith said. “I think it shows disrespect and disregard for the responsibilities of that board.”

Mayor Gene F. McGee said that the applicant had “a right to a hearing.” Jerry L. Mills, who later that night would be reappointed as city attorney, said that they would be separate matters.

Ward 5 Alderman Scott Jones said that while granting TIF status would not even happen “if none of this other stuff happens” he saw them as separate issues that did not interfere.

The resolution issued by the city proposes to issue Tax Increment Financing bonds or notes, in one or more series as development allows, in an amount not to exceed $3,300,000.

Funds will be secured solely by a pledge of the incremental increase in ad valorem tax revenues from real and personal property and sales tax rebates generated within the “TIF District” described in the TIF Plan, and which funds will cost of acquiring and constructing improvements, which may include, but are not necessarily limited to, installation, rehabilitation and could include relocation of utilities such as water and sanitary sewer; construction, renovation, or rehabilitation of drainage improvements, roadways, curbs, gutters, sidewalks; site improvements; offsite improvements and infrastructure which may include roads, rights-of-way, utilities, and water and sewer lines; surface parking, including retaining walls and other infrastructure necessary to develop parking; relocation of electrical lines; lighting; signalization; landscaping of rights of way; related architectural and engineering fees, attorney’s fees, issuance costs, capitalized interest, and other related soft costs.

As for zoning petitions, the Zoning Board’s recommendation and TIF plan are scheduled for consideration at the second Board of Aldermen meeting in July.