EL eyes TIF to aid Sargento expansion

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – They closed out a tax incremental finance district last year and now the village is looking to set up a new district this year.

Village President Alan Rudnick informed the Village Board Tuesday that the new TIF would aid an expansion project at Sargento Foods in the village.

“We’d like to get the TIF set up by Sept. 30,” Rudnick explained. He said the first phase of the Sargento expansion is expected to start this spring and that the expansion will culminate around 2018.

The Plan Commission discussed the Sargento expansion at their Feb. 13 meeting and will take it up again at their March 20 meeting, at which time they will set a public hearing on the proposed TIF, according to Rudnick.

Library Director Betty McCartney gave her annual report to the board, highlighting increased circulation number and library use.

“I am very proud we increased circulation so much this year,” she told the board. “It was the best circulation we’ve had in 10 years. There was a huge increase in electronic items loaned,” including videos, DVDs, audio books and more.

“There was a big growth in electronic books,” said Mc- Cartney, who added that the library added three Kindle electronic readers last year. “We continue adding e-books for our patrons.”

McCartney said she was especially heartened by increased circulation among juveniles (24 percent) and young adults (56 percent), although noting that circulation was down among children.

Circulation numbers were also up for magazines, she added.

“For the next year, we are going to continue trying to get funding from different organizations,” to help fund library services and programs, McCartney concluded.

The library recently dedicated new display cases in memory of the late Rola Ann Klahn, a former trustee and Library Board member, McCartney told the trustees.

Public Works Director Richard Solek also gave his annual report to the board.

Solek said no major public works projects are planned for 2013, but said his department would be concentrating on maintenance and upkeep of the village parks, especially the Village Park downtown.

“Over the last couple of years that park has really been used more,” Solek observed. “It is a focal point for the village and we really want to keep that up more.”

The board approved a contract for energy efficient lighting updates in the Grashorn Municipal Building.

The updates will include replacing bulbs and ballasts with more energy-efficient items, Rudnick explained. The work will cost $3,185 after rebates, less than the $4,000 the board budgeted for the project, and the expected payback in reduced energy costs is three-and-a-half years, he added.

The village will have a new prescription drug drop-off box located outside the Police Department office, Rudnick reported.

“Sheboygan County is giving us the drug drop box so people in the community can bring in their old prescription drugs they’re not using and want to get rid of,” Rudnick said.

It’s part of a program coordinated by the Sheriff’s Department to keep discarded prescription drugs from being thrown away or flushed away and ending up in the water supply, Rudnick said.

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