Arrabelle TIF district gets a green light
Cedarburg Joint Review Board approves district

By Laurie Arendt - News Graphic Staff

March 1, 2018

CEDARBURG — The Cedarburg Joint Review Board completed the final step of the tax incremental financing district creation process Tuesday night by approving TIF district No. 5 for the former St. Francis Borgia school property on Hamilton Road and Washington Avenue.

The measure, which passed 3-0 with one abstention, green lights the funding for a district that was not without controversy in Cedarburg. Developer HSI Properties informed the city of Cedarburg in late 2017 that its plans for the Arrabelle Apartment project would not move forward without TID funding.

The creation of a TID requires multiple steps and approvals before the decision is approved. The matter had been before the Cedarburg Plan Commission, Common Council and finally the Joint Review Board, a board that is made up of representatives from different entities in the community, including elected city officials, the School Board, the County Board and the Milwaukee Area Technical College. Additionally, a citizen representative is appointed.

The Joint Review Board is charged with reviewing the information brought forth in previous meetings as well as public comment on issues.

“It was helpful to hear the information from these meetings and I did have a lot of questions,” said County Board Supervisor Kathy Geracie, who sits on the Joint Review Board. “I did a lot of research into the ‘but for’ issue and I feel this project does merit funding under state statutes.”

With the approval, the city of Cedarburg is creating a $1.98 million TIF district for the 4.25-acre property. The city will spend $1.925 million in developer incentive payments and $56,500 in administrative expenses. In return, the investment will create $8.4 million in land value and improvements for the city. It is estimated TID No. 5 will not have an impact on the city’s tax rolls until 2032, according to the city’s project statement This is 15 years earlier than the end of the district’s maximum allowable term of 27 years.

In addition to Geracie, board members Mayor Kip Kinzel and citizen representative Allen Lorge voted for the TIF district. MATC representative Wilma Bonaparte was absent.

Committee member and Cedarburg School District representative Superintendent Todd Bugnacki abstained from voting, but has not said why. The School Board, however, failed to take a vote on the measure at its February meeting.

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