Controversial Sunset Homes TID amendment up for discussion again Tuesday

By Matt Masterson - Freeman Staff

September 12, 2015

 The Sunset Homes condominium complex.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA - One alderman's request to revisit the Common Council's split approval of a tax incremental district amendment will bring the controversial item back for further examination.

Aldermen spent more than two hours discussing the amendment earlier this month before voting 7-6 in favor of the measure - which would alter the project plan for TID No. 22, permitting the city to make a $1.6 million loan to the Sunset Homes condo association for repairing leaky roofs, deteriorated siding and worn-out parking surfaces.

The amendment has drawn considerable attention since its approval, sparking Alderman Aaron Perry and some members of the public to ask Mayor Shawn Reilly to use his veto power on the measure.

But because the amendment was signed by Council President Andy Reiland, who was filling in for Reilly while he was on vacation, it cannot be vetoed, meaning the only way it could be revisited is if a council member who voted in favor of the plan requested a motion to reconsider.

Earlier this week, Alderman Adam Jankowski did just that, asking Reilly to add the item to Tuesday night's Common Council agenda.

The aldermen will first have to vote whether to revisit the project. If they choose to do so, a second vote would determine if last week's decision stands or is overturned. The council can also vote to amend the language of the project plan, according to Reilly.

In 2009, the 120 Sunset Homes units were each assessed at over $100,000, but six years later they are now worth just over $50,000, according to a city report. If the amendment stands, the loan would be made to the Sunset Homes condo association and paid back through increased condo association fees over the next 15 years.

In a July 22 email to Community Development Director Jennifer Andrews, City Attorney Brian Running said he was "very skeptical" about the condo association's ability to secure loans adequately and wanted to see their financials and tax returns for the last five to 10 years.

Earlier this week, Reiland told The Freeman he was happy to hear the council would be getting another chance to discuss the plan. He believed there was some confusion among aldermen regarding the condo association's financials and has been collecting questions from the council to give Andrews before Tuesday's meeting.

The council meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Waukesha City Hall, 201 Delafield St.

How they voted

Waukesha aldermen on TID No. 22 amendment at Sept. 1 Common Council meeting

Christopher Hernandez
Adam Jankowski
Daniel Manion
Vance Skinner
Kathleen Cummings
Joan Francoeur
Steve Johnson

Joe Pieper
Peter Bartels
Aaron Perry
Eric Payne
Cory Payne
Terry Thieme

Andy Reiland (served as acting mayor during meeting)
Roger Patton (resigned position hours before meeting)

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