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Sussex cancels development project

Village of Sussex- Village Administrator Jeremy Smith said this morning he will recommend  the Village Board end negotiations with NAI/MLG regarding the purchase of 120 acres of the farm land near the intersection of Hwy. 164 and Silver Spring Road.

The village had intended to purchase the land and create a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district to raise real estate tax revenues to pay for streets and other public improvements so NAI/MLG could develop a commercial park on the site.

NAI/MLG holds an option to purchase the land from Johnson Bank . The bank took over the farm land from the  Bilienski Brothers after the developers had purchased it from the Meissner family but were unable to develop it because of internal financial issues.

Smith said the latest estimates on the costs for development site preparation, installing sewer mains, and building a new street intersection are higher than the original estimates.

He said that because of the higher than anticipated cost he will recommend later this month to the village board to cancel the proposed project.

The decision came two days after Village Trustee Pat Tetzlaff had questioned why Smith and other city officials were moving so rapidly on the project when the village board had instructed them to "proceed cautiously."

The village's Community Development Authority had been expected to approve creation of the TIF District later this month and a final Village Board decision on the project was anticipate for late August.

Smith said there is not enough time to make revisions in the development plans before September 28, when NAL/MLG's purchase option on the land is expected to expire.

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