Elkhart Lake making good use of TIFs

THE VILLAGE OF ELKHART LAKE is taking good advantage of the tax incremental finance district program to foster and encourage economic growth.

The village first utilized a TIF district – which uses tax proceeds from improvements within a designated area to pay for improvements within that district to benefit and aid the growth within the district – to aid the development of The Osthoff resort complex some two decades ago.

That TIF district closed out last year and it was an unqualified success. The Osthoff has grown into an internationally-renowned resort destination and sparked a rebirth of the tourism industry in the village.

And the taxing entities that created the district – the village, the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District, the county and the Lakeshore Technical College district – reaped financial benefits as well, as the TIF district ended its life with a positive cash balance that was distributed back to those entities.

This year, the village has gone back to the TIF well for two new projects and the prospects for both appear strong.

The first instance was an effort to boost industry outside the village’s main industry of tourism.

The village’s TIF 2 was created to encourage and aid an expansion of Sargento Foods’ facility in Elkhart Lake. It provides infrastructure improvements and upgrades, developer incentives and land acquisition for the $15 million expansion of the company’s research and development/ engineering facility in Elkhart Lake.

And now the village has approved its third TIF, this time to aid The Osthoff once again.

TIF 3 will provide infrastructure improvements and developer’s incentives for the resort’s planned

$5 million, 20,000-square foot expansion of its current conference center – more than doubling the present space available for conferences and meetings – on the resort’s north wing.

Both districts have the flexibility to add other worthwhile projects and expenditures during their projected 20-year spans. The map for TIF 2 was drawn large enough to include land where two different potential residential developments could go within the village limits, while TIF 3 includes some nearby commercial properties which could potentially be redeveloped for new and needed uses.

If the village’s two new TIF districts bring the same kind of growth and economic development to Elkhart Lake that the first TIF did, they should be of great benefit to the village and its residents.

With two solid businesses like Sargento Foods and The Osthoff to anchor the two TIFs, it seems a positive outcome should be assured.

At issue:
Village creates two new TIFs
Bottom line:
Building on a good track record

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