Hartford Common Council approves creating new TIF district
Would help pay for Broan-NuTone projects, city infrastructure work


Sept. 13, 2017

Richard Pluim of Hartford walks along South Main Street near the Westphal Mansion Inn Bed and Breakfast on Tuesday afternoon in Hartford. The Westphal Mansion is looking to join the downtown Business Improvement District in Hartford.
John Ehlke/Daily News

HARTFORD — The Common Council during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night unanimously approved the creation of a Tax Incremental Finance District — TIF District No. 11.

The proposal must still go before a joint review committee made up of the local governments who share the property tax money generated in the district. That committee has already debated the proposal once before, but give a final OK before the TIF can become active.

On Monday, the city’s Plan Commission approved a site plan for a proposed 12,000-square-foot addition to the Broan-Nutone complex along Madison Drive. Money generated from the TIF will help pay for the company’s project and aid the city in completing infrastructure projects within the district. The new TIF district will have a life of 20 years.

Broan Nu-Tone officials have told city leaders the ongoing major logistics center expansion project and the proposed office addition could not have taken place without the implementation of the new TIF district.

“The proposed addition will house offices, a conference room and restrooms as well as new lab and test space,” said City Planner Justin Drew.

A TIF district uses additional property taxes generated within its borders through increased economic development to pay for building infrastructure such as sewer and water, storm water management, roads, access to electricity and natural gas as well as other improvements needed to spur development.

The city has discussed using some of the TIF funds to build a new bridge on North Wacker Drive, construct a new water main in the area and complete some other needed work.

The Common Council also unanimously approved the addition of the new Cobblestone Hotel, Hen Picked Antiques and the Westphal Mansion in the downtown Business Improvement District.

“They currently aren’t within that district’s borders,” Drew said. “They requested that they be added so they could be involved with the BID and be part of downtown related activities.”

County sales tax

The Common Council also discussed and was expected to approve a resolution requesting Washington County agree to distribute 25 percent of the local sales tax the county collects to all municipalities in the county. Throughout the county towns, villages and cities are expected to vote on the joint resolution.

“The intended use of these funds to the county have changed from reimbursement for a development incentive, to debt reduction, to funding their own capital projects,” said City Administrator Steve Volkert. “What the individual communities are now asking is for help in reducing their debt and capital expenditures by having the county share just 25 percent of the total tax which the county receives with the individual communities.

“If approved, the city of Hartford would receive more funding to increase our road miles of maintenance which is the top complaint we receive from residents,” Volkert said. “Currently the city spends an average of $1.4 million on local street repairs annually. If the city were to receive an additional $325,000 through the sales tax, the city would be able to complete more street repair and reconstruction work.”

Officials said an additional sales tax was created in 1999 to help attract and pay for Cabela’s locating in the village of Richfield.

This story went to press before information was available on how the Council voted on the issue.

<<EARLIER: Site plan OK’d for office addition at Broan-NuTone in Hartford