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Menomonee Falls moves along with creating a new industrial park

Sept. 2, 2014

Menomonee Falls — The village of Menomonee Falls has shifted its plans for an area that would be inside of a proposed tax-incremental financing district.

That seems to have pacified a group of neighbors who were previously vocally opposed to the plan.

The new plans for what could have been the home of an industrial waste treatment business were discussed and approved at a special meeting of the Plan Commission on Thursday, Aug. 28. Though there was a public hearing on the matter, no one spoke for or against the development of the village's 12th TIF district along the east and west sides of Lilly Road, north of Silver Spring Drive in the Manhardt Drive area.

The lack of speakers was a stark contrast to when a portion of the land in question could have become the home of ChemWorks, a business that was deemed unwelcome by hundreds of neighbors in the area and was ultimately voted down by the Plan Commission.

The TIF plans call for rezoning the majority of the 107.5 acres from heavy industrial to light industrial to facilitate the development of up to seven businesses. Included in the plans is the redevelopment of 21.6 acres of land previously owned by Milwaukee-based Advanced Waste Services for the proposed ChemWorks facility, as well as a couple of blighted areas within the TIF boundaries.

"A good portion of the area is pretty blighted right now, but that area has beautiful potential," Commissioner and Trustee Steve Raymonds said. "There really will be some attactive parcels to be developed into a very nice looking industrial park."

The next step will be village board approval of the proposed TIF, which calls for an estimated $3 million in improvements to the area. In addition to the approval of the TIF, the village will be reviewing changes to the zoning and a comprehensive plan amendment to fit with the plan to develop light industrial business through that coordior. TIF is a mechanism that allows municipalities to borrow money to fund infrastructure improvements for an area that otherwise would be difficult to develop or redevelop. The increased property tax revenue from the improved land is then diverted from the tax roll to pay off the loan.

In this case, Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said the plan calls for the development of $30 million of increment, and based on estimates, the district could pay off early in 14 or 15 years.

"We are generally pretty excited about the new modern light industrial buildings, which we feel will be a much better fit for the neighborhood than as it stands today," Fitzgerald said.

NEXT STEP

WHAT: discussion and possible action on proposed TIF No. 12

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 15

WHERE: Village Hall, W156N8480 Pilgrim Road

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