Planning

When TID #3 was closed, a total of $65 million in property values were put onto the tax rolls. “That was literally 30 percent of the full value in the city,” Dedering noted. “It was all in our largest TID.”

One of the reasons for that growth stems back to the initial decision of Sargento to build its facility in Kiel. The addition of the Rockville Subdivision also played a large role, along with the commercial development in the Belitz Drive area.

The city was able to accomplish many projects through the wise use of TID funding. In addition to building the infrastructure for the commercial parcels and the Rockville Subdivision, TID proceeds were also used to fund road improvements, a new community well, new parks, the Kiel trail system, half the cost of a new fire truck and the ability to help retain and attract major industries to the community.

Both Sargento and the Polar Ware/ Stoelting manufacturing plants received incentives and assistance from the city to help attract and retain jobs. In the case of Sargento, the city’s efforts supported a major expansion in the last decade.

Dedering said that Sargento has had employment peaks of approximately 400, while Stoelting/PolarWare employs approximately 350. They represent, by far, Kiel’s two largest employers.

Because of the city’s help in planning and working with the Economic Development Corporation of Manitowoc County, Kiel was able to retain the Stoelting manufacturing facility, while luring its sister company Polar Ware to the community. The resulting jobs were retained here in Eastern Wisconsin, rather than being lost potentially to other communities or states.

“Some of these jobs could have gone elsewhere,” Mayor Werdeo noted. “But they liked the fact that we had a skilled workforce here and they simply had to retool, instead of relocate.”

“Without the TIF districts, and given the levy limitations, these things would not have been possible,” Dedering added.

Additional development opportunities exist in the newly created TID where Shopko is located.

Shopko has a small parcel available to retail or commercial development. The city retains land to the south for potential multi-family residential or commercial development. Holland Cold Storage has unveiled plans to develop a major addition to its storage facility across Rockville Road from Shopko.

Mayor Werdeo said the developments here will just about generate enough tax increment to meet the TID borrowing payments. He said it was a low-risk TID project with this much development on the horizon.

Environmental cleanup

The city also took on the responsibility of getting its environmental TID property ready for development in 2011.

Located at Seventh and Paine, the former industrial parcel has been readied for development. The City of Kiel officially purchased the property from the State Bank of Chilton, the former lienholder.

Environmental engineers were hired to study and clean up the site, making it ready for a potential developer.

The city administrator said it is now awaiting final Department of Natural Resources approval to move forward. This enables the city to proceed with serious inquiries for the property from any interested developer.

City building infrastructure

Last October, the city officially dedicated its expanded firehouse, nearly doubling the size of the facility.

“I am very pleased with how it all turned out,” Mayor Werdeo said. “We got a lot of building for the dollar.”

He added that Kiel picked a favorable time for the construcdtion. “Rates were decent, and we got favorable bids by starting in the winter months, and at a time when the economy was slower,” he added.

As successful and smooth as the firehouse project turned out, Kiel City Hall remains somewhat of an enigma for city officials to sort through.

Mayor Werdeo expressed frustation that the discussions regarding city hall improvements and police department facility upgrades keep going in circles.

“The work needs to be done with the future progress of the City of Kiel in mind, instead of stepping backwards. In all the discussions we have had over the past 6-7 years, never once did we say we were going to plan for now. We need to plan for the future,” he said.

In a recent benchmark decision, the Kiel City Council voted to proceed with a ceiling of $2 million on the renovation and improvements for Kiel City Hall.

Mayor Werdeo urged that the City Council get on board to implement a plan while the rates for borrowing are favorable and the climate for competitive bids is positive.

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