SLINGER — Slinger officials have
set priorities for aiding redevelopment of the village’s downtown,
but what could be the first steps in the new year?
Earlier this month the Village Board approved a recently completed
report by Vandewalle and Associates about improvements that could be
coming to the downtown. The report also included a list of
priorities that village leaders and residents have agreed on should
be top projects.
For 2020, Village Administrator Margaret Wilber said focus will be
on rehabilitation or restoration of existing buildings, in-fill
development of vacated businesses and lots downtown, and Kettle
Moraine Drive and Ice Age Trail improvements.
Wilber said work on achieving the first priority will include
setting up a facade and building improvement loan/grant program.
“The budget for that will come from our former Revolving Loan Fund
and additional RDA funds,” Wilber said.
The goal of in-fill development is not budgeted at this time, but
the village is exploring the possibility of establishing a tax
incremental district that would include a small portion of the
downtown area, “so a budget for that would be developed if the
district is created,” Wilber said.
The Kettle Moraine Drive and Ice Age work “is already budgeted using
part of a borrowing we completed this year and the DNR grants we
were awarded late last year,” Wilber said.
Some of the other items on this list, Wilber said, will be planned
out in more detail once the village’s Parks & Recreation Department
completes its updated Parks & Open Space Plan.
“They are just beginning the work on that, so that information
probably won't be available until some time next year,” Wilber said.
As for rehabilitating or restoring existing buildings, the village
will seek to begin a fund of $50,000 and replenish the fund every
two to three years. Village officials said a typical facade
grant/loan could be between $5,000 and $11,000 per building and
requires a match of at least 50 percent. Village staff will work
with local banks to provide low-interest loans as part of the
program. Staff also will emphasize and enforce the recently adopted
property maintenance codes which will help improve the downtown’s
In-fill development will work to fill empty stores and lots in the
downtown by recruiting developers and to create a local banking
program to acquire properties as they become available.
Kettle Moraine Drive and Ice Age Trail improvements will work to
direct Ice Age Trail users to the sidewalk on the east side of the
street, provide trail way-finding and interpretive signs and add
pedestrian scale light fixtures. They also hope to widen sidewalks
where possible and enhance the crosswalks.
Other elements to that effort include:
■ Add banners, benches and trash receptacles.
■ Create small downtown gateway features including signs near
■ Consolidate and narrow driveways wherever possible to increase
on-street parking spaces.
■ Obtain easements from adjoining property owners to add shade trees
and other features along the sidewalk.
Moving some of the baseball diamonds from Community Park to the new
and future Breuer Park will provide additional land that could be
used to add additional downtown features.