Elkhart Lake just keeps on growing

IT WAS A VERY good year for the village of Elkhart Lake. That was the gist of Village Administrator/ Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Reilly’s annual report to the Village Board last week.

Her report contained a lot of highlights and, as she admitted, one lowlight.

The main theme was growth in a number of different areas in the village.

“Who knew there was so much more growth that this little village could experience,” was how Reilly summarized it in her report.

The most important growth was in the total property value in the village.

Elkhart Lake grew in value by 1.5 percent, from $282 million in total property value to $286 million.

In the long run, that’s good news for village taxpayers, as the burden of property taxes to pay for village government and village services are spread over a larger base, lessening everyone’s individual share.

Of course, that impact will not be felt immediately, as much of the $4 million in increased value took place in the village’s tax incremental finance districts – meaning tax revenue from those improvements will be diverted to pay off debt incurred in supporting that development.

That is, until those costs are paid off, at which point the increased tax revenues will go into the village’s coffers – as well as the county’s and the school district’s – and the positive tax impact will be fully felt.

But there is an immediate impact of the growth in the property tax base for the village and its residents.

The TIF developments have helped local businesses like Sargento Foods, The Osthoff resort and others to grow, as well as creating opportunities for new businesses, like the new

Compassionate Care Animal Clinic.

That growth and new business means more new jobs for the village and its residents. That in turn will bring new residents to the village along with an injection of money and income for residents and existing businesses.

And the growth in the village’s TIFs is not done yet. Plans are afoot for major developments in the newest districts, while Sargento is proceeding ahead of schedule with expansions in its district.

As for local business, Reilly’s report contained good numbers for the village’s primary industry, tourism.

Room tax revenues in the village increased by 7 percent from 2014 to 2105 and last year saw more than $560,000 in room taxes collected.

More important than the revenue that means for the village – more than $33,000 – is the evidence it provides that tourism is flourishing in Elkhart Lake.

More visitors to the village mean more jobs for local residents and more money coming into village businesses and coffers.

The room tax revenue also helps finance the efforts of the Tourism Commission to promote Elkhart Lake as a great place to visit and have fun – efforts that continue to bear fruit and help the village grow.

All in all, a pretty bright picture for this little village on a picturesque lake up in the northwest quarter of the county.

And that lowlight?

According to Reilly’s report, dog licenses decreased by 9 percent from 2014 to 2015. Maybe it’s time for the village to start promoting a little canine tourism.

Most recent cover pages:

POLL: Do you think Elkhart Lake made the right decision in not allowing Strawberry the pot-bellied pig?:

Copyright 2009-2018 The Plymouth Review, All Rights Reserved

Contact Information

113 E. Mill St., Plymouth WI 53073
Local: 920-893-6411 Toll Free: 1-877-467-6591
Fax: 920-893-5505