A pedestrian crosses
Kettle Moraine Drive at Highway 175 in downtown Slinger
on Tuesday morning. Village officials are moving ahead
on having a consulting firm study the downtown and the
possible redevelopment opportunities there.
SLINGER — The village’s participation in the Washington
County EPA Brownfield Grant Coalition could aid plans
for redevelopment of the downtown area.
The village must still make a formal application to the
coalition to use about $27,500 remaining in Slinger’s
$40,000 share of the grant money, but they believe it
should be just a formality. Each community in the
coalition received a $40,000 share of the money.
On Monday, village trustees approved having Vandewalle
and Associates, at a cost not to exceed $27,500, work
with the village on issues related to downtown
redevelopment. Contamination concerns have been raised
in the past over some of the property in the downtown
area and how redevelopment could proceed there.
“We want them to take a deeper look at the needs and
wants for the village’s downtown,” Village Administrator
Jessi Balcom said.
The village has already used grant money in the past to
aid the cleanup of Brownfield sites and this could be
used for doing the same in the downtown. The contract
between the village and Vandewalle and Associates
contains several objectives including:
■ Conduct a property by property analysis of property
conditions and rehabilitation potential.
■ Gather and evaluate information regarding constraints
to redevelopment such as topography, utility conditions
and locations, easements, soil conditions and access
■ Meet with area property owners and business owners to
determine their thoughts and plans on the future of the
downtown. They will also conduct a community visioning
session for village residents.
They will draft a redevelopment vision and strategy for
the for downtown.
“Through our preparation of the Economic Opportunity
Analysis and Comprehensive Plan Update and the work
Vandewalle and Associates has already conducted for the
village over the last two years, we have gathered a
tremendous amount of information and gained significant
insight about downtown Slinger,” Balcom said as part of
the agreement. “Although general community conversations
about the downtown have taken place the time has come to
have a focused discussion on the future of the downtown
and the village’s role in bringing about redevelopment.”
Vandewalle is expected to begin the work immediately
with completion of all tasks expected to take about four
months. Work on the effort is expected to be funded
entirely by Slinger’s allocation from the Washington
County Site Redevelopment Program.
Also Monday night, the Village Board approved renewing a
separate contract with Vandewalle and Associates for
economic development and planning services — something
the firm has already been performing for the village.
The cost for those services are not to exceed $60,000 a
year, but the costs could be significantly lower because
the consultant will be paid by the hour for each project
it is assigned by the village.
“Is there a way we could exit the contract if we needed
to?” Village Trustee Dean Otte asked.
Balcom said the village could get out of the agreement
via a seven-day written notice which is in the
agreement. Otte asked the question because he said if
Village Planner Marty Marchek decided to retire, the
village might want to consider creating a position that
combined his duties with those covered in the annual
services agreement with Vandewalle.
“We know he (Marchek) has talked about retirement and
we’re happy to have him work for us as long as possible,
but when he does wish to retire that could be an
option,” Otte said.
Otte then asked if the village might consider combining
such services with nearby communities, similar to how it
shares building inspection services.
Balcom said that discussion had taken place, but a
conflict of interest could be possible because of the
proximity of the communities involved and the
competition between the communities to attract new
“That’s something that we have been unable to come up
with an answer to,” Balcom said. “Building inspection
services are different.”