Common Council checks in on elections, lake project, city districts

Common+Council+checks+in+on+elections%2C+lake+project%2C+city+districts

Kylie Jacobs, Managing Editor

The Whitewater Common Council met Tuesday, Feb. 16 to hear updates about the first round of spring election results, the lake drawdown project and future of the city’s tax incremental financing districts. 

There were 636 ballots cast in this year’s city election. The election was for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, as well as for the Whitewater Unified School District. Voters could choose up to two candidates of the five who were running. The four candidates who received the most votes will move onto the next ballot for the general election April 6. The four candidates are incumbent Tom Ganser, Larry Kachel, Maryann Zimmerman and Andrea M. Svec. 

The Parks and Recreation report provided an update on the Lake Drawdown Project.  The Cravath Lake drawdown was completed last fall, with the Trippe Lake drawdown to continue through the year. Even with the cold weather, the siphons are still working out to help continue to drawdown Trippe Lake. 

The updated timeline for the project includes that the lakes will remain down throughout 2021, applying for all the necessary permits needed during the winter. The grant to apply for lake restoration will occur in February of 2022, and prior to that, bidding for potential dredging will happen in fall of 2021. Mechanical dredging should occur in winter of 2022, with controlled burns for the vegetation to occur between the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022. The projection for the lakes to be refilled will be late spring of 2022. There will be a community meeting about the project Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 5:30 p.m. 

Senior municipal advisor Greg Johnson of EHlers Inc. public finance advisors shared a presentation about the city’s tax incremental financing district (TID) timeline. Some of the objectives of his presentation included closing TID #5, #6, #7, #8 and #9 in 2021. This requires a termination resolution by April 15, which needs to be passed by the Common Council. It also needs to be within six months of passing resolution property tax lister to be notified of the TID closure, the final audit is completed, and the remaining funds be redistributed to the taxing jurisdictions. 

His second objective is to implement affordable housing extensions for TID district #4, which requires the Common Council to adopt a final resolution by Apr. 15 of this year.

His final objective is to close TID district #4. This termination resolution can be adopted in May of 2021 and allows the city of Whitewater to begin creating new TID’s immediately. 

For the affordable housing extension, at least 75 percent of the funds must be used for affordable housing. The remaining portion must be used to improve housing stock. These funds can be used anywhere in the community and do not have to be spent within one year. 

To view the meeting and to see previous common council meetings, visit https://www.whitewater-wi.gov/AgendaCenter/Common-Council-6. The next meeting of the Whitewater Common Council will be held March 2.

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