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Neillsville City Council Approves S.C. Swiderski, LLC Developers Agreement

Monday, September 18th, 2023 -- 1:01 PM


The Neillsville City Council discussed the S.C. Swiderski, LLC Developers Agreement at their meeting on Tuesday.

Council Member Julie Counsell stated that the City did not agree to do a TIF District. The language gives the impression the City is; and the number of units was wrong on one page, the 38 units should be the same as the 52 units agreed upon.

The language should be changed that the City may do a TIF, leave the intent open. Council Member Bill Neville asked why the City is providing a grant of $560,000 for their land purchase. Council Member Dan Clough stated that TIF is an economic development tool to help front the money to get development going.

Council Member Barb Petkovsek stated this was recommended by the Planning Commission. Council Member Counsell asked about restricting turn around, selling it out after getting the land with no guarantee of project completion.

Council Member Clough stated that the Developers obligations are outlined in Section III. and Default in Section VII. Council Member Counsell stated the agreement is with SCS Neillsville, LLC not S.C. Swiderski, LLC.

This agreement is with SCS Neillsville, SCS Neillsville, LLC has no money. It is a shell at this point, it should be with the parent company. City Attorney Wachsmuth stated you can request it, but the parent company won’t do it.

Once SCS Neillsville owns the land they will have an asset. Whoever owns the land, you can take a mortgage against it. Council Member Neville stated a mortgage is no guarantee if they do not finish. The question is will someone buy it and finish it.

Council Member Counsell stated that she had gotten developer’s agreements from twelve different communities. Council Member Clough stated that he believes the agreement language is tough enough to protect the City if something goes wrong.

To encourage development there is some risk. Council Member Neville asked if the values in are the minimum assessed value. Council Member Petkovsek stated the City cannot dictate a minimum value; the City’s Assessor has to use comparable.

Council Member Counsell stated that at the City’s current mill rate it would take 8 or 9 years to repay, which is shorter than the 30-year life of the TIF district. Mayor Dewey Poeschel stated if the City does a loan the City covers the cost.

If a loan is done through a TIF District the County, School and Technical College help share the costs. Council Member Neville asked that the “Finance Commitment be amended to say “and a copy of the “Project Plan”.

City Attorney Wachsmuth stated that Swiderski is having problems securing financing at reasonable rates and project material costs. Mayor Poeschel stated that he would like a motion with the changes proposed.

Council Member Counsell stated she would support the motion with changes addressed. Council Member Petkovsek stated that the seller of the land to Swiderski wants 100% of the money up front for the land. In the end, the Council did approve the agreement, with two council members voting no.

Council Member Petkovsek did add that all the City plans done by West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (WCWRP) say we need housing. It is hard to attract employees because of the lack of housing.

The Planning Commission and Economic Development Commission have both recommended the development. The Council also discussed attorney services. Council Member Clough asked if the contract was for the rest of this year until April of 2024.

Mayor Poeschel stated it would run until the end of the fiscal year, December 31, 2024/ The Council approved to accept the recommendations to accept the City Attorney service proposed from Weld Riley, S.C.

The Council also approved a request from the Neillsville Fire Department to close W. Eighth Street from Grand Avenue to Hewett Street and West Street from W. Eighth Street to the rear parking lot of the Brickyard Bar and Grill for their annual steak feed fundraiser on October 7th from 2:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. Mayor Poeschel nominated Clarissa M. Rochester for the Fourth Ward Council Member position, which was approved.

Council Member Rochester was then approved for several committees including Neillsville Community Fire Hall Board Representative, Illegal Tax Committee, Solid Waste and Recycling Committee, Committee on Finance, Board of Review, Board of Health, Commission on Public Works/Utilities, Planning Commission, Airport Commission (Chair), Property Committee.

The Council also approved Joe Neville as Heritage Days Committee member and Chair; Council Member Bill Neville as member and Chair of the Parks and Recreation Board; and Peggy Grap as member of the Tourism Commission.

Council Member Bill Neville was also selected as President of the Council. Chief of Police Jim Mankowski introduced the new Neillsville Chamber of Commerce Director, Tea Moscinski. Tea gave her background and updated the Council on Chamber activities.

Chief of Police Mankowski then reported on:

  • Training,
  • Squad car maintenance,
  • Squad #1 needs replacement as it has been on the road for ten years,
  • August parking enforcement,
  • Citations,
  • Warnings,
  • Incidents,
  • Office activity,
  • Calls,
  • Officer activities,
  • Business patrols,
  • Citizen interactions,
  • The Town of Mentor is asking to increase hours from 10 hours to 15 hours per month,
  • On October 4th from 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. Coffee with a Cop will be at Hardees.

City Clerk Rex Roehl reported that:

  • Halloween Trick or Treating hours will be on Tuesday, October 31st from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.;
  • A notice from Chippewa County Housing Authority that one of the City’s CDBG Housing Loans is in default and going into foreclosure by the first position lender;
  • And notice from Clark County Treasurer Renee Schoen that Clark County will be retaining the tax deed property at 305 E. Fifth Street (Parcel No. 261.0604.000 – former Scott Davis property) for Clark County purposes, therefore no payment for delinquent special charges will be made.

Finally, the Council heard the various Committee Reports. Council Member Petkovsek reported on the August 30th meeting of the Personnel Committee regarding:

  • Report on the Employee Handbook update;
  • Discussion on and recommendation to the Finance Committee to match the Neillsville Rural Fire Association Firefighters wage increases;
  • And discussion on and recommendation to the Finance Committee a 3% wage increase for 2024 for non-union employees, excluding the Common Council, Fire Department and Police Union employees.

City Clerk Roehl reported on the September 12th meeting of the Personnel Committee regarding:

  • Discussion on and recommendation to accept the City Attorney service proposal from Weld Riley S.C.

Council Member Petkovsek reported on the August 30th meeting of the Grants Committee regarding:

  • Reviewed and updated the list of grants;
  • Discussion on possible sources of grants and financial assistance;
  • Discussion on a CDBG Housing Loan default going into foreclosure by the first position lender;
  • And discussion on grant resource information and books.

Council Member Petkovsek reported on the September 5th meeting of the Beautification Committee regarding:

  • Discussion on and approval to apply for a Community Foundation grant;
  • Discussion on flowers for 2024;
  • Update on donations for flowers/decorations;
  • Discussion on Gazebo repairs;
  • Received approvals for both the Planning Commission and Common Council for the proposed bridges in Prock Park and Schuster Park;
  • Discussion on and approved a ribbon cutting for the Town Square Park benches for Friday, October 6th at 3:00 P.M.;
  • Discussion on memory gifts and future murals;
  • Discussion on Fall decorations and approved purchasing metal Fall decorations from Kranzations for the fifteen flower pots, Town Square Park and Prock Park.

Council Member Clough reported on the September 12th meeting of the Commission on Public Works/Utilities regarding current activities.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.