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McCoy project full speed ahead
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SHULLSBURG —Mayor Gloria Swenson called the regular common council meeting to order on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at the Townsend Center meeting room.
    Attorney Paul Johns of the firm Boardman & Clark, LLP was present. Johnson was hired by the city to give his opinion on the possibility of using TID #7 funds to finance some of the infrastructure improvements for the McCoy residential development.
    In a prepared statement Johnson outlined the issues involved.
    •Can the city use TID #7, a mixed-use TIF District, funds to pay for infrastructure of the McCoy development? The development is within a half-mile radius and according to Johnson the development can be considered as “project costs” under Wisconsin TIF law, and can be paid from TIF increment generated by the District, even though the property is not in the district itself.
    •What project costs are eligible, specifically electrical, from TIF funds? Johnson believes that installing electrical infrastructure is considered a capital cost because is the construction of public works and would be allowed. It doesn’t matter that the city owns it’s own electric utility.
    •Can the project costs be expanded on this residential development and remain in compliance with the mixed-use development tax incremental district rules? The plans call for three units per acre, which meets the criteria.
    The next step is to take the project to the Shullsburg Joint Review Board (JRB) and how to approach them. Johnson suggested have the plans and numbers ready, having as much information as you can and “feel them out” on how they would like to proceed. A motion was made and approved, by a vote of 3-1, to move forward with the project and take the project plans and financials in front of the JRB.
    The JRB consists of Gloria Swensen, Mayor; Dan Morrissy, President of the School Board; Jack Sauer, Lafayette County chairperson; Don Tuescher, SWTC representative and Wayne Gehrt, public member.
    The Mayor allowed Gehrt to ask some question of Atty. Johnson. He suggested that Johnson be present at the JRB meeting. Gehrt asked in regard to the three lots per acre rule. Could that mean some lots are a half an acre and other lots that are two tenths of an acre, just so the average a third of an acre? Johnson said he believes the answer to be yes. In fact, he’s not sure if the three lots per acre applies at all, since the development is not in the actual TIF district.
    TID #7 generates $54,000 per year and has $170,000 in it currently.
    The question that was repeated during the conversation was will the JRB give the TID money and not expect repayment or would they want the money paid back to the TIF?
    Gerht’s opinion was that it doesn’t make any difference, if you have to give the money back to the JRB, then give it back. No one will get hurt by it, because in the end (when the TIF is closed) the money will go back to the taxing districts.
    A motion was made to go to the auditors (Johnson & Block) and get the financials needed to take before the JRB and to have a representative attend the JRB meeting. Motion approved by a vote of 3-1.
Iowa, Oates and
Estey Streets project
    Bart Nies of Delta3 Engineering was present and congratulated the city for receiving the CBDG Grant of $500,000 for infrastructure improvements on Iowa, Oates and Estey Streets that will be worked on in 2017. Nies stated there are several administrative items the city must now complete. A thirty-page contract must be completed and signed for the Department of Administration.
    The council approved a contract having Delta3 take care of the administrative work for the CBDG grant at a cost of $18,000.
    A DNR Safe Drinking Water grant was discussed in regard to the project. The amount of the grant would be $350,000. Nies said it’s looking like Shullsburg will not qualify, but can borrow money from that program at 1.5% interest, locked in for 20 years. The project is $1.15 million, subtract the $500,000 CBDC grant and that leaves $650,000 that would need to be financed. Nies suggested they apply for the same grant next year. The council agreed and approved a motion to allow Delta3 to apply for the 2017 DNR Safe Drinking Water grant on the city’s behalf.
    Nies will also be involved in writing a grant for a Lafayette County Land Conservation (LCLC) grant. The grant money will be used to riprap the stream that has been eroding adjacent to the city garage parking area on County U. The grant will need to be submitted in Jan. or Feb. of 2017. The total project will be $45,000 and the LCLC grant will pay up to half. This item will be put on the next meetings agenda. A new bridge on Co. U, near the city garage, will be constructed in 2017.
In other business
    Approved a contract with Johnson & Block and Company of Mineral Point. The contract is for audit services for the city and will be $18,200 in 2016; $18,600 in 2017 and $19,000 in 2018.
    Alder Jim Paquette reported on Sewer: waiting for a second bid for roof replacement; purchased a wireless printer; a valve that wasn’t going to be replaced, is now going to be replaced, it was deemed to be more advantageous of the city; body of the fire truck is being repaired for $1,736; phosphorous study report due Sept. 30; White Hill meeting will be held soon, discussing future issues. Electric: the Park Street electrical repair is going fine.
    Alder Darrell Morrissy reported on Park: discussed seasonal wages; getting estimates for pool painting; the finished basketball court was estimated at $22,000 and came in at $22,100. Street: replacing the  sidewalk near Methodist Church in Fall; approved at committee level to reduce the speed limit on Hwy. 11 to 35 m.p.h.. This will be on the next meeting’s agenda.
    Approved the bills in the total amount of $22,526.