City Owned Property
The city is a large property owner for commonly understood reasons – parks, fire stations, city hall, vacant business park parcels, following road construction projects that involve right of way acquisition, etc. In late 2012, I met with a group of local Realtors who inquired about the necessity of city ownership of some parcels. The group inquired about the last time a comprehensive review of city owned parcels was completed. Over the last year and half, the Planning and Economic Development Director, Adam, led a project to classify parcels in three categories – No, the city cannot or should not sell, Maybe, and Yes.
I am happy to say last week I met with the team to receive their recommendation. It was determined that over 100 parcels could be considered for sale, 91 that should not and 19 that wouldn’t be marketed but could be sold in the correct situation. The formal recommendation will be presented to the Finance and Property committee for their consideration. The most logical example of properties that would be considered for sale are those remnant parcels which are no longer needed to be retained – often because they are too small for development by themselves. The best part of the program is that the parcels sold will be sent back to the tax rolls and could be put to higher use.
As far as Business and Industrial park lands, we continue to market the Rapids East Commerce Center land (see post). As staff, we have discussed marketing the Woodlands Business Park. Options for consideration will be presented at a future city council meeting.
Revolving Loan Fund
Did you know Wisconsin Rapids is part of a regional revolving loan fund? Last week we met with three entrepreneurs and prospective businesses to discuss their business plans and how their opportunities might merit an application to the city’s Industrial Development Commission. If you or someone you know who is in the process of starting or expanding a business, have them contact myself or Adam Tegen for more information. The terms of the loan are very attractive and intended to serve as gap financing in conjunction with owner equity and traditional bank loans.
Of particular interest at last week’s Staff Meeting, we recapped the State of the City address. We discussed the implementation strategy of the initiatives and their path forward. I am pleased there is continued energy surrounding the priorities.
Coffee with the Mayor
Last week, I held a discussion session at Sofia’s restaurant. Additionally, the Daily Tribune erroneously published a session at From the Ground Up coffee house. I am glad residents are attending to ask questions and provide me feedback. I always enjoy the opportunity to meet residents and be available for conversation!
This week, I will be at From the Ground Up coffee house (as previously misprinted) from 8 – 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12. Spread the word to friends and neighbors to drop by at any point during the time frame for a casual conversation.