Year of growth in EL

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – The village is growing in lots of way – except for the canine population.

That was the news Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Reilly gave in her annual report to the Village Board Monday.

“Who knew there was so much more growth that this little village could experience,” Reilly wrote in her report. “The past twelve months have seen a majority of my time monopolized by the economic development projects that have been coming along at a fast and furious pace.”

“The village grew at a phenomenal pace,” she summarized for the board. “But dog licenses were down 9 percent,” Reilly added.

She noted that the village saw an increase in total assessed valuation of 1.5 percent, from $282 million to $286 million – an increase of more than $4 million.

Reilly also pointed to an increase of 7 percent in room tax collections from 2014 to 2015, to more than $560,000, as another sign of continued growth in the village.

The village applied for and was accepted into the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.’s Connect Communities program during the year in an effort to help boost economic development and tourism growth.

The village created its fourth tax incremental finance district in 2015 and saw several projects completed, undertaken or planned in TIF districts 2 and 3, Reilly said.

“While running up attorney’s fees, I learned more about TIDs, annexation, stormwater and development agreements than I ever expected,” Reilly wrote.

“I would not have been able to spend as much time on these projects if it was not for Katie and Kim (in her office). They have stepped up and taken charge of additional projects, including tree identification, the resolution books, general accounting, etc., plus all of the duties they already had on their plates,” Reilly added.

Among her goals for 2016 is to begin looking at creating a historic district in the village, Reilly told the board. Her office also hopes to complete codification of the village ordinances and upload them to the village website by 2017.

The board approved the bicycle and running courses for the Elkhart Lake Triathlon and Kidz Triathlon June 11 and 12, along with the walkway permits for the event.

Reilly explained the routes were the same as last year and said Police Chief Mike Meeusen reported no problems with them last year.

Village President Alan Rudnick reported that the Community Development Authority had discussed several outstanding loans. “On a couple of loans, we are going to send final notices before we turn them over to collections,” he told the board.

The Planning Commission received a new concept plan for the Victory North development, according to Rudnick.

“Basically, it’s the same as the old one but they’re taking the apartments out. Where the apartment buildings were is basically going to be duplexes. For a number of reasons, apartment buildings are no longer in the mix,” Rudnick said.

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