Waldo pulls plug on TIF

by Abby Lynn Harvey of The Review staff

WALDO — A laundry list of projects in progress was discussed at the Waldo Village Board meeting Monday evening, yielding varied results.

The news wasn’t good for some projects - the proposed TIF district has been abandoned, the farmer’s market is on thin ice.

Other ongoing projects – the Dam Failure Analysis, letter of map revision (LOMR), operation and maintenance manual for the dam and the replacement of the Depot Street bridge - are getting moving again after months of stalled work.

Still others – the replacement of the Village Hall roof, landscaping at the Village and Memorial halls, the abolishment of the village health officer/health board ordinance and the amendment of the current burning ordinance - are maintaining momentum into the summer months.

Due to the time it is has taken to take action on the proposed TIF district, the developers who had shown interest have moved on, leaving the project dead in the water, explained Village President Lisa Hagenow.

When the project was proposed, the plan was to develop a TIF district which would include a proposed assisted living facility. The land which the facility would be built on is currently owned by former trustee Anita Klein. After the district was developed, the land was to have been sold to an interested developer, who would then build the facility.

The village agreed to pay a portion of the legal costs to see the project through, signing a contract with Klein stating that if the the project were to fall through the village would be reimbursed. Because the project will not be moving forward, Hagenow will begin developing an invoice in the coming month.

The farmer’s market has been handed over to the village and is on shaky ground. Trustee Dan Schneider, the board representative on the Recreation Committee, suggested a plan of action.

“I look at it and I say you’re at a crossroads,” Schneider said. “Wither it needs to get bigger and you make some money off it or it needs to go away.”

Schneider suggested expanding the market to include flea market items in an attempt to attract more vendors and in turn raise attendance. The market will continue to be held until it is too cold to have the event outside and at that point, if the expansion has not not produce the desired results, the market will be shut down instead of being moved inside for the winter.

Now that it has been ascertained that the Mill Pond dam is in need of a failure analysis, the board will begin hearing presentations from various DNR-approved engineering firms to complete the analysis. Hagenow hopes to have one presentation scheduled for each of the following three meetings.

After much confusion, miscommunication and general “he-said-shesaid” between FEMA, Strategic Municipal Services, Inc. and the village, the LOMR, with additional information requested by FEMA several months ago, will be resubmitted, Hagenow informed the board.

Needed guidance for the operation and maintenance manual for the dam was provided to Village Clerk John Port, as that project continues to progress the board will also address the emergency action plan for the dam in the coming months, bringing the dam closer to compliance.

Confusion reigned during discussion of the replacement of the Depot Street bridge. Hagenow stated that it is estimated that the materials cost of the project will increase from the estimate provided last year. Work is slated to begin next spring and the Streets Committee has provided a recommendation for a replacement option. However, it was unclear at the meeting how the bidding process would proceed.

Confusion ensued when a question was raised as to whether the county would be able to bid for the work. Hagenow stated that she believed they would not be able to due to a section of Act 10 which she believed barred the county from bidding on projects over $30,000. No such statute exists.

The board will continue to hear presentations relating to the replacement of the Village Hall roof and will choose an option when these presentations have concluded.

Landscaping at the Village and Memorial halls will take place in August or September.

It was confirmed that the village does not need to have a health officer or health board as they are covered by the county. They will move forward and abolish the outdated ordinance forming such a board.

The wording of the burning ordinance has been changed to make the purchase of burning permits more reasonable. Previously the permits were valid during a specific range of dates, from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. If one was purchased near the end of the range the permit was only valid until July 1 and was not prorated. The new language states the permits are valid for one year after the purchase date.

The next meeting of the Waldo Village Board will be held on Aug. 12 at 7 p.m.

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