development in Hartford got a boost Tuesday night due to action by
the city’s Common Council.
approved a contract with development consultant Vandewalle and
Associates to continue advising the city for at least a year on
implementation of a downtown economic development plan created by
the company, changes in the city’s Smart Growth Plan and a certified
survey map of a planned housing development that will add dozens of
housing units to the city.
approved the contract with Vandewalle with little discussion, but
before the Common Council meeting the Finance and Personnel
Committee recommended approving the contract after some discussion.
calls for Vandewalle and Associates to be paid $5,000 a month for a
year as part of the contract,” said City Planner Justin Drew. “As
part of that contract, they will advise the city on the possible
creation of another TIF district, help recruit new business and help
retain current businesses, and help market the city.”
Drew said as
part of the agreement, the city will pay about $45,000 of the yearly
cost of Vandewalle’s services with the remaining $15,000 being paid
by the Hartford Economic Development Corporation, the Downtown
Business Improvement District, the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce
and First National Bank. The four groups worked together to hire
Vandewalle to create the redevelopment plan, which has been approved
by the Plan Commission and the Common Council.
the city could recoup these expenses if and when a TIF district is
created as part of downtown redevelopment,” said City Administrator
Wintringer said during the committee meeting that he “wholeheartedly
backed the plan.”
Part of the plan
for downtown redevelopment calls for the construction of a downtown
hotel, creating catalyst businesses and developing more housing in
the area. Changes in the city’s Smart Growth Plan call for the
designated use of an area along Highway 83 be changed to allow for a
new multi-unit housing development by area developer Mark McCune.
executive director of the Hartford Economic Development Corporation,
said approving the Master Plan changes and the downtown
redevelopment plan are parts of another step to aid economic growth.
“Housing is just
one of the items that local business owners have said they need more
of to retain and attract employees,” Hostad said. “They are
increasingly seeing employees leave for jobs that are closer to
where they are living.”
business and industry in Hartford have also expressed to city and
county leaders the need for a reliever transportation route to allow
shipments to get to and from their businesses quicker and safer.
assured by county officials that they are working hard on solving
the traffic problem through the city’s downtown, which is also a
safety issue as well as just a transportation issue,” Volkert said.
alderman questioned why in 2005 the county let a reliever route
proposal die, Mayor Joe Dautermann said to look forward instead of
“We have a
heartbeat now, let’s keep the momentum moving,” Dautermann said.