EL sets bonding for TIF street projects

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – The village will be selling bonds next month to finance several street projects.

The Village Board approved a resolution authorizing the bond sales Monday.

The 15-year, $995,000 borrowing would pay for the North Lake Street extension and South Lake Street and Osthoff Avenue reconstruction projects that are part of the Tax Incremental Finance District 2 plan and the Osthoff Avenue road and parking improvements that are part of the TIF 3 plan.

“We have structured the bonds with a projection of revenue from TID 2 and 3 to pay the debt service. There would not be an impact to the existing debt service tax levy,” Maureen Schiel, a financial specialist with the village’s financial advisor Ehlers and Associates, assured the trustees.

TIF 2 was created primarily to aid the expansion of the Sargento Foods facility in the village, while TIF 3 was created for the meeting space expansion at The Osthoff resort.

Both will utilize property tax revenues from the improvements with the district to pay off debt incurred for projects in the district. When the debt is paid off and the TIF is officially closed, the tax revenues will then go the village and the other taxing entities.

Schiel said projections of revenue for both districts to pay off the bonds were based solely on improvements already begun or completed within the districts and not on any future potential improvements.

The bonds are scheduled for sale on Sept. 3. The board will be asked to approve the sale at a meeting that night.

The village closed out its first TIF district, created in 1993 for the original development of The Osthoff resort, last year with a positive cash balance. That money was distributed between the village, the school district, the county, the technical college district and the state.

While the intent is to utilize the $995,000 in bond proceeds for the listed street projects, Schiel said that because they will be general obligation street improvement bonds, the village would be able to use any excess funds toward other street projects if the total cost for the three TIF projects is less than projected.

The Administration and Finance Committee made changes to the policy for allowing weddings on the public beach, Trustee Richard Sadiq told the board.

Chief among them is that no weddings will be permitted between June 15 and Aug. 15, the busiest time of the year for the public beach, he said.

A $50 permit fee was added as well, according to Sadiq, and information about the rules governing beach weddings will be added to the permit application form.

The board voted to deny a request from Clyde Morter of 151 S. Lake St. to install paver bricks in the parkway between his sidewalk and the street.

The Public Works Committee recommended denying the request, on the basis of advice from the village’s attorney, Trustee Michael Wolf told the board.

The attorney said the village would be liable for any damage or injuries that might result from the pavers being in the parkway, since the parkway is the village’s responsibility.

Village President Alan Rudnick added that the Beautification Committee had also expressed their opinion that pavers would not be appropriate in the parkway.

Wolf reported that the Public Works Committee reached a consensus that a potential property on Maple Street would be a suitable location for a new Public Works Department building.

The committee decided the parcel would be adequate for the new building, he said, and recommended that the village pursue purchasing the property.

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