In 1969 the State of Florida adopted the Community Redevelopment Act which provided local governments with the tools necessary to eliminate and prevent unsafe and undesirable conditions in their jurisdictions.
Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) are responsible for:
- Preparing redevelopment plans for designated areas
- Implementing the plan through various means and funding sources such as tax increment financing (T.I.F.), grants, and updated land use regulations
The goal of all redevelopment agencies is the removal of blighting conditions as defined by state statutes so as to encourage the viable economic growth and sustainability of the community. Today there are 14 redevelopment areas in Brevard County; the
Merritt Island Redevelopment Agency (MIRA) is the only CRA in unincorporated Brevard County.
How Is MIRA Organized?
In 1989 the Board of County Commissioners established the Merritt Island Redevelopment Agency (MIRA). A seven member volunteer Board, appointed by the District 2 County Commissioner is responsible for providing the oversight to MIRA.
The Board has provided MIRA with a staff that consists of an Agency Director and Projects Coordinator. MIRA also utilizes many support
services from the County for which MIRA is billed.
Where Is the MIRA Area Located?
There are four (4) sub areas within the Merritt Island Redevelopment Area consisting of:
1. SR 520 Commercial Core Sub-Area (Merritt Island Causeway) is the primary west/east major arterial road, extending from the Indian River Lagoon on the west and the Banana River Lagoon on the east. It extends north to approximately Merritt Avenue and
south to approximately Fortenberry Road.
2. SR 3 Sub-Area is the primary north-south corridor through Merritt Island and includes all properties that front on Courtenay Parkway from the SR 528 interchange at the north end to Merritt Avenue at the south end.
3. Barge Canal Sub-Area includes SR 528 and the lands to the north that front on the Barge Canal. It extends from the Indian River Lagoon on the west to the Banana River on the east.
4. Cone Road Sub-Area encompasses the industrial lands located south of Cone Road and north of the Merritt Island Airport.
Why Is a Redevelopment Agency Important to Merritt Island?
Merritt Island is the most urbanized unincorporated area in Brevard County State Road 520 and State Road 3 are prime examples of high-traffic volume and commercial corridors that are similar to those in Brevard’s largest cities. These corridors
are the heart of the Merritt Island community and yet we are not an incorporated municipality which would collect separate taxes and maintain staff to facilitate many of the projects that MIRA has successfully provided over the past 25+ years! Dedicated funding has allowed MIRA to focus on the development, infrastructure, aesthetics, and economic development issues of this large urban
How Is MIRA Funded?
From the date the core area of the Merritt Island Redevelopment Agency was established in 1989 (base year), 95% of the tax revenues generated as a result of increases in property values (tax increment) within the redevelopment area boundaries is placed in the Redevelopment Agency’s Trust Fund; the funds are not derived from any new or additional taxes. The County’s general fund receives the additional 5% in property value increase along with increases to property
values typically felt within areas adjacent to CRA’s.
The Trust Fund money is reinvested into the designated redevelopment area for economic development projects that are outlined within the CRA Master Plan and can only be spent within the CRA boundaries. Typical projects include leveraging these funds with grant dollars and/or private investment incentives to improve the infrastructure and aesthetics of the area.
These improvements increase the property values and thus the tax base benefiting the County, private property owners, and Merritt Island residents alike!