County may forgive Amcast taxes
Property is 11 years delinquent

By Melanie Boyung - News Graphic Staff

Jan. 2, 2018

CEDARBURG — The county could forgive taxes to help Cedarburg’s efforts to have the Amcast property redeveloped.

The Ozaukee County Board Wednesday will consider initiating In Rem proceedings for the Amcast property at Hamilton Road and Johnson Street in Cedarburg, former location of Amcast and Meta-Mold. In Rem is a legal term that gives a court power over a property.

According to County Administrator Jason Dzwinel, the process would forgive the property’s unpaid taxes, amounting to $265,000 since the delinquency began in 2006.

“The City of Cedarburg CDA and developer require the Ozaukee County Treasurer to initiate In Rem proceedings on the property and forgive any delinquent property taxes,” Dzwinel wrote.

“The use of In Rem proceedings is a common practice as counties partner with municipalities and developers to revitalize blighted properties,” he added.

The city of Cedarburg and Mequon consultant DJ Burns agreed in November on the terms of a developers agreement for the property. According to the document, the Cedarburg Community Development Authority will obtain the 8acre parcel, which once housed a foundry and diecast facility, as well as offices; ownership would then be conveyed to Burns for development.

The property still contains buildings that will need to be demolished, after which the site could be remediated and reconstructed.

According to information from Dzwinel, forgiving the back taxes will not negatively impact the county budget. The delinquent taxes are recognized in county finances, and no fund balances will be affected. He also wrote that the law will allow $80,000 of the delinquency to be written off.

According to Dzwinel’s report, the Cedarburg CDA and developer require the county to initiate the In Rem proceedings for the project. The die-cast business formerly housed at the site was closed in 2005.

The In Rem matter will be taken up for approval by the Ozaukee County Executive Committee and then the County Board; it is on the County Board agenda for Wednesday.

While the planning process is still in initial stages, Burns has said he plans some type of mixed-use development for the site, once it is fully remediated. It could include offices and businesses, residential, multifamily or senior housing.

The Cedarburg Common Council has approved tax incremental financing for the site, to aid in its reconstruction and improvement. Council discussions have indicated that the project may require more city investment than the city will recoup from it.

<<EARLIER: Cedarburg CDA approves developer’s agreement for Amcast site