Village approves contract to market business park

By Melanie Boyung - News Graphic Staff

Feb. 15, 2018

GRAFTON — The Grafton Village Board last week approved a public relations contract in connection with the budding plans for a business park at the corner of Ulao Road and Highway C.

The business park, if it is built, will be a 114-acre development with about 600,000 square feet of business space, once fully built. Barry Chavin of MLG, the developer proposing the business park, said in January, “This is going to be light industrial, a higher-end business park.”

The public relations contract was approved with the Broydrick Group for an amount not to exceed $14,400. Broydrick was one of three public relations firms that submitted a proposal for the contract.

“All the groups that applied are very qualified,” Village Administrator Jesse Thyes said.

The Broydrick Group offered the lowest price tag of the three proposals, and also has significant experience within the Grafton community, according to Thyes’ report to the board. The company has provided public relations for the Grafton Meijer and Aurora Medical Center projects. Moving forward, the firm will market the potential business park to the community, to engage residents and gather feedback on the possible development.

This is the third contract that has been approved for the potential business park. On Jan. 15, the Village Board approved a $246,138.70 contract with the firm Ruekert-Mielke to provide engineering and survey services for the project.

While there were other, lower bids for the engineering contract, the village selected Ruekert-Mielke due to experience and staffing that would accommodate an accelerated timeline. The schedule for the project calls for preliminary engineering design to be completed this month.

The Village Board also approved a $14,500 contract at the same time for Ehlers Inc. to prepare for establishing a tax incremental finance district. Ehlers is the village’s consultant on its existing TIF districts.

In a TIF district, the base value of the land before development is left on the normal tax rolls, while additional value from new development does not go immediately to the tax rolls. For up to 20 years, tax revenue from development within the TIF district would remain in the TIF district, paying for infrastructure and improvements there rather than going to the normal taxing jurisdictions.

If the village moves forward, a TIF district would be established to fund the required infrastructure installations; the land under consideration is currently in the town and not serviced by village utilities. MLG’s proposal includes the village funding the infrastructure and paying it back through a TIF district. The development would require the village to annex the land from the town of Grafton.

The village is currently funding the contracts with the village general fund sundry account. If the project moves forward with a TIF district approved, those expenses would then be transferred into the district to be paid for through the TIF.

Residents speak up about potential neighboring park

GRAFTON — During last week’s Village Board meeting, supervisors heard from several neighbors of the proposed business park, who were unhappy with the development’s location. Those who spoke were residents of the nearby Waterstone subdivision, which is across the Ulao Road-Highway C intersection from the site proposed for the business park.

“Assuming there is a need for a business park, it seems there are other places available for it,” said resident Kent Hansen.

“It seems interesting to me that we would take prime real estate for residential development and turn it into a business park,” Hansen added.

“We’re worried about the infrastructure being there to support the traffic,” Mike Belgiorno said.

“We feel like our quality of life would be significantly negatively impacted by industrial, even light industrial,” Robin Hansen said.

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