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Delafield approves tax incentives

 City of Delafield - The Common Council, with one dissenting vote, has approved real estate tax incentives for a proposed residential development located in downtown Delafield behind city hall.

The nearly 12 acre tract of land has gone undeveloped for about 120 years and was described as "blighted" by City Administrator Tim Schuenke.

Madison developer Joe McCormick intends on building 64 apartment units in two buildings and 13 urban row house style single family homes.

The anticipated real estate tax revenues from the new project as well as other commercial properties in the Tax Increment Financing(TIF) District will help pay for the construction of streets, sidewalks, and storm water control facilities for the $6.5 million project.

Another approximately $110,000 in real estate tax revenues will be used to help pay for construction of a bike path leading from the development south to the Lake Country Recreational Trail.

Ald. Tim Aicher said one reason he was voting against the TIF was because of the precedent it was setting. It is the city's first real estate tax increment financing for a residential development.

"It seems to me you are going to have a lot of developers in the future who are going to want something like this," he said.

However, Ald. Jeff Krickhahn suggested the project will not set a precedent because "it is unique."

"The land has been platted for 120 years and never got developed. We need to have something to help get it started. I like this project. It will benefit all of downtown," Krickhahn argued.

Mayor Ed McAleer said there are provisions in the development agreement that guarantee the city will receive revenues from the developer to pay for the municipal improvements in event the project fails to generate the anticipated tax revenues.

Ald. Jim Behrend suggested the strenght and viability of the tax incentives will ultimately be determined by the local school district and county government officials who must also approve the creation of the TIF district.

Those local taxing districts will not receive the tax revenues from the new development during the anticipated 13 year life time of the TIF district.

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