Slinger gives final OK to economic development services

By JOE VANDELAARSCHOT - Daily News

Oct. 4, 2016

SLINGER — One more hurdle has been cleared in implementing an in-depth economic development plan for the village.

Monday night during their regular meeting at Village Hall, trustees unanimously approved a contract with Vandewalle and Associates of Milwaukee to help implement the economic development plan that the company researched and presented at earlier Village Board meeting.

To aid the village in implementing the plan, Vandewalle and Associates will be paid a figure not to exceed $5,000 a month. Last month trustees agreed the plan should be implemented, and staff began working with the consultant, but some Board members wanted more information, which was included in the contract approved Monday night.

Before the final vote was taken Trustee Dean Otte expressed reservations about how the contract would be paid for, but was told by other village officials the money was already included in the village’s proposed 2017 budget.

“We need to decide if we want the RDA and the CDA involved,” Otte said. But other trustees said any delay in moving ahead with the economic plan would send the wrong message.

Otte also had reservations as to who would oversee the development plan and make sure it’s implemented.

“The steering committee, which includes the Village Board, will do that,” Village Administrator Jessi Balcom said. “They (Vandewalle and Associates) are to provide monthly reports. We can make sure everyone receives a copy of those reports.”

Board members said if they didn’t move ahead with approving the contract the village would receive a bill for two months work that’s already been completed.

“We’ve been working them since the Board instructed staff to implement the plan,” Balcom said. Otte then withdrew his objections and the contract was given final approval.

The analysis made recommendations that included:

Working with adjoining properties to enlarge Community Park.

Having village properties joined together to create more usable community space.

Increasing the opportunity for recreational and sports facilities.

Utilizing a storm water management feature than can double as a recreational amenity.

Creating a larger activity center with possible spill-over impacts due to increased activity at downtown businesses.

Working with property owners to explore a mixed-use “base village” at the foot of Little Switzerland.