Construction on the Library Block project in downtown Platteville may resume later this week, two weeks after excavation work stopped.
City manager Karen Kurt said Tuesday morning there was “some concern with soil conditions, and they’ve done additional testing. Our understanding of the reason for the delay is they’re looking at structural plans so they’re adequate for the set of facts they have.”
Kurt said the city was told “late last week that they’d be back early this week,” but with rain forecasted for the early part of this week “that’d be pushed back again.”
Director of Public Works Howard Crofoot said soil borings early in the project determined how much weight the soil could support.
“Once they had it excavated and exposed to air and water from the rain we’ve had, it changed the weight bearing values of the soil,” he said. “Their engineers have been working to determine what they need to do.”
Another reason for the work stoppage was a payment dispute between the developer, Miners Development LLC, and the excavator, Wiederholt Excavating of Cuba City.
“Based on what I’m hearing, there was some level of dispute between the developer and the subcontractor,” said Kurt. “My understanding is that has been resolved.”
A representative of Wiederholt said last week the company stopped work April 13 after the company had not been paid. Developer Troy Hoekstra said last week that Wiederholt would be paid when a “proper draw gets submitted.”
Kurt said given the financing for the project — federal New Market Tax Credits administered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority — “everybody [puts] their money up front, and it’s just a matter of drawing down. It’s a complicated process that you have to go through, especially with the first draw.”
The city is paying $1.5 million in rent over seven years in a lease for the library portion of the project.
In return, the city is getting guaranteed tax increments, of $100,000 in 2017 and $155,000 per year from 2018 to 2024, and $125,000 per year from 2025 to 2036. The total is $2.685 million, with $1.03 million of that during the expected seven-year library lease, or $1.185 million in case of an eight-year lease. The city will receive $3 million in return over 20 years from the $2 million loan from Tax Incremental Financing District 7.