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Letters to The Platteville Journal for Dec. 23
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2010 downtown plan

In 2012 we were surprised to hear by word of mouth a proposed $4.5 million student housing project to sell our largest parking lot downtown with a substantial monetary incentive to the developer. Soon after many residential areas had permit-parking-only signs erected in front of their homes as a result of an approximately 600-bed dorm with a little more than 30 parking stalls in a residential area.

Concerned with our vitality of doing business on Main Street I decided to engage in city meetings, interact, and learn about the process to understand how this can happen. The Main Street Program director told me all the information is on the city website. This comment may seem easy to him, but in reality to business people taking care of their own business, and in my case having a son volunteer for the Army then deployed to Afghanistan is not so easy, which was relayed to the Main Street Program director. I hope the following information will help others to understand.

The 2010 Downtown Revitalization Plan was prepared by the Platteville Downtown Redevelopment Authority with assistance from MSA Professional Services, Inc. and AECOM, and adopted by the Common Council Jan. 11, 2011. The Platteville Redevelopment Authority is a state statute-authorized and governed entity from Wisconsin State Statute 66.1333(3).

Feb. 16, 2010: RDA minutes show City of Platteville Redevelopment Authority was awarded a $20,000 planning grant.

March 16, 2010: The lump sum fee for the work is $40,000. MSA work and professional services agreement was approved.

Dec. 6, 2010: The planning draft is intended to function as a guide to help city officials and economic development professionals attract and direct investment in downtown Platteville in ways that support the long-term viability and sustainability of the downtown economy.

Jan. 25, 2011: The council would like to see a residence hall constructed downtown. The RDA discussed the need to have a payment in lieu of taxes agreement with the UWP Foundation related to the residence hall.

March 7, 2011: RDA discussed a Parking Authority, parking fee and parking permit system. Housing Sites were action items under the Downtown Revitalization Plan. The UWP Foundation or other university-related projects could be a catalyst for other projects. Some of the developers that weren’t chosen for the UWP Foundation project may be interested in doing a project.

May 17, 2011: RDA Action Plan: Our city manager provided a memo regarding anticipated redevelopment projects that can be considered as part of the downtown plan.

Looking at the Revitalization Plan Chapter 4, page 32, the Downtown Platteville Future Use Map shows multiple UWP sites. I am concerned that this map shows obstruction of the view over part of Main Street. Our building location is part of the obstruction. I also observed the same obstruction of view in Chapter 4, page 43 on the Downtown Platteville Site Specific Recommendation. How do we know what is planned when it is covered?

Involving myself with other business people to form a Downtown Parking Alliance gave hope to solve and plan for future parking issues. How can this be possible when a document given out by the city manager exposes parking decisions for a development made in closed session?

The latest vote passing the Library Block developers agreement even after a letter from the Platteville Regional Chamber requesting to delay the vote for more public input on the new changes to the agreement is very concerning.

The brick walls experienced has brought on a lot of stress and concerns for our future on Main Street Platteville after 30-plus years.

Is it fair to ask that this document be shredded?

Lori Erschen Bahr
Erschen’s Florist, Platteville


A Library Block fan

I would like to express my appreciation for all of the parties that came together to make the Library Block Project a reality. It was a joy to see all parties as well as our legislators come together for the groundbreaking Dec. 11. Members of the city staff and the Common Council members showed due diligence in vetting the development agreement and ensuring this project would meet the needs of our growing community. 

I look forward to watching as the project progresses downtown.

Betsy Ralph-Tollefson
Platteville Public Library Board of Trustees



My Letter to the Editor of Dec. 16 needs correction. The actual prison sentence Timothy Riley received from Grant County Circuit Judge Craig Day was only 2 years and 90 days of confinement, not 4 years and 90 days as I reported. 

Scott M. Martin


The Platteville Journal will print most letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters The Journal determines are excessively long. All letters must be signed and the signature must appear on the printed letter, along with a contact number or email for verification. Some submitted letters may not be published due to space constraints. “Thank you” letters will not be printed. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of The Platteville Journal.