Elkhart Lake just keeps on growing

THE VILLAGE OF ELKHART LAKE continues to grow. That was the message of Village Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Reilly’s annual report to the Village Board last month.

The key figure in Reilly’s report was an increase of nearly $3 million in the village’s total property value, an increase of almost 1 percent.

And the further Reilly went in her report, the more signs there were that growth will continue in the village.

Her report included updates on the village’s three existing tax incremental finance districts, each one of which has helped fuel significant economic development and growth in Elkhart Lake.

The TIDs have been instrumental in the continued strength and expansion, directly and indirectly, of what are the village’s three major industries – tourism, racing and cheese.

The expansion and remodeling of the Sargento Foods facility in Elkhart Lake is nearing completion, with the help of the village’s TID 2. That expansion, in turn, has helped support and spur other growth in the district as well.

It helped pay for the paving of a new street in the village, Victory Lane, which already houses one new business – the Compassionate Care veterinary clinic – and will soon be home to another – the Throttlestop car and cycle concierge. More development, residential and commercial, is in the planning stages for other parts of the TID as well.

In TID 3, The Osthoff resort has expanded its meeting and conference areas, with supporting infrastructure work financed by the TID. That’s drawing more visitors, meetings and the like to the village, enhancing the village’s thriving tourism industry.

Indeed, Reilly noted elsewhere in her report, room tax receipts in the village grew

14 percent from 2014 to 2016 – bringing in money for local businesses and the village.

Perhaps the biggest growth came in TID 4, which not that long ago was empty fields on the village’s south edge.

Today, it’s home to Wolf Motorsports and Villas development. The condominium development has been fully built out already, with occupants already moving in and more expected this year as the buildouts of the villas is completed. The development, with the support from the TID, is bringing more people – and more racing fans – to the village.

Elkhart Lake has made good use of the leverage tax incremental finance districts provide to support and encourage growth, dating back to the village’s first such district, created more than 20 years ago to help the development of The Osthoff – which in turn spurred a renewal and rebirth of Elkhart Lake’s first and foremost industry, tourism and resorts.

The village, its residents and its economy continue to reap the benefits of these tools for growth, as well as the leadership and vision of the village government and officials working with business and developers to foster and encourage smart, rewarding growth in the picturesque little village.

And the future looks to be nothing but better for Elkhart Lake.

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