Council approves TID amendment, grant application

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When the Prairie du Chien Common Council convened on Nov. 7, there were several items to consider on the meeting agenda. Everything from a tax incremental district (TID) amendment, the purchase of a dump truck and even the annual turkey trot had their time under deliberation.

Present at the City Hall for the meeting were council members Nate Bremmer, Kelssi Ziegler, Carlos Cantero, Pam Kiesau, Vicki Waller, Jaaren Riebe and Nick Crary. Along with the council were Dave Hemmer, Mayor; Nick Gilberts, City Planner; and Chad Abram, City Administrator.


TID No. 8

The council unanimously approved resolution 2023-25 to approve amendment one to TID No. 8, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. The TID was created on March 2, 2021, and the amendment added territory to the district.

Area added to the TID included two parcels of “mostly vacant land located in the 600 block of East Blackhawk Avenue.” The boundary description stated the TID with the amendment comprised approximately 23.22 acres.

The amendment stated TID No. 8 was classified as a Blight Elimination TID “intended to promote commercial and residential development.” The added parcels were determined to satisfy the statutory definition of blighted property. The criteria included land where buildings/structures were demolished and the land had impeded community growth through “obsolete platting.”

Abram confirmed the project would consider disabled veteran  and income-based housing as part of the plans. 

Gilberts also noted the TID status allowed projects to apply for more grant opportunities.

With the council’s approval of the TID amendment, the next step will be the Joint Board Review’s (JBR) meeting notices to the newspaper on Nov. 13 for publication on Nov. 15. From there, the JBR Final Meeting will convene on Nov. 29 to adopt a resolution to approve the TID No. 8 Project Plan and Boundary. The TID creation information will then be submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue before Dec. 31.


Grant Application

Gilberts requested council approval to submit a grant application to the Public Transit Assistance Program. The grant would pursue funds for the share-ride taxi (called the “Coulee Cab” in supporting documents). The service provides transit services within the city extending to approximately two miles outside the city limits.

The request stated the city has contracted a third party, Running, Inc., to provide the taxi service. Running, Inc. has a contract with the city until Dec. 31, 2024, and is contracted for 11,880 hours of service per year.

The program has utilized five city-owned minivans. Running, Inc. has provided maintenance, fuel and operating costs, such as insurance.

Every year, the city has conducted an independent cost estimate (ICE) to determine the cost rate per hour for the proceeding year, which is determined from the previous year’s rate with adjustment calculated from the Consumer Price Index along with comparison to comparable share-ride programs. The rate in 2023 was $34.03 and the projected rate for 2024 is $35.29.

The proposed budget for the share-ride program in 2024 included a contract amount of $419,245.20. The grant could reimburse an estimated 56.10 percent of the contract, which amounts to $235,196.55 while revenue from fares was estimated to bring in $110,000. The remaining local share would be $74,048.65 under those parameters.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation would review and either accept or reject the proposed ICE for 2024.


Dump Truck

The council approved the purchase of a HV507 Dump Truck for the Street Department. Abram stated the truck would replace an older model, which has already been listed for sale. The truck has an 18 month build time.

The council approved the use of a three-year loan from People’s State Bank for $109,950 with 4.75 percent interest for the purchase. Abram stated the purchase price was reduced from the net sale price point of $141,200 because the city would fully pay for the vehicle in advance.


Other News:

-Abram stated the Finance Committee had approved a tentative 2024 budget for the city, which would be submitted to the Common Council later in the month. No specific date has been set for a public hearing.

-The City Administrator’s Report noted leaf pickup would continue to the end of November, the brush site would close after the Nov. 11 weekend and the compost site would remain open until “at least the end of the month or longer depending on snow.”

-The annual Turkey Trot will be held on Nov. 23 with registration beginning at 7 a.m. and the race starting at 8 a.m. The race will begin at Hoffman Hall. Cost is $5 per person and $10 per family along with the donation of a non-perishable food item.

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