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Town of Dunn
TIF law could help Dunn
Uniﬁed Newspaper Group
A new state law could help the Town of Dunn with new development projects.Gov. Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 338 earlier this month, which allows large, urbanized towns to create tax incre-ment financing (TIF) dis-tricts as a way to encour-age development.TIF is a development tool in which tax incre-ments above a certain base value are placed in a special fund and used to pay for improvements inside the TIF district. Cities and villages have been able to create TIF districts for many years for revitalizing blighted areas, attracting lucra-tive industries and more recently to mix develop-ments in ways that might not be possible other-wise. But critics say it’s too often used for proj-ects that don’t need the help.The law requires the town to have a population of at least 3,500 people and equalized values of at least $500 million. The Town of Dunn meets both criteria, but town officials said they have no specific plans to use TIF in the near future.Town chair Ed Minihan said the town would like-ly look at TIF on a case-by-case basis for devel-opment projects. “We are exploring how we might be able to use that concept creatively,” Minihan told the Hub. Town land use manager Erica Schmitz said she was reviewing the details of the law and that the Town Board has yet to discuss the new law.She noted that the town doesn’t have much devel-opment outside of single-family residential homes, but that other future proj-ects might be eligible for TIF.The town didn’t have any role in drafting the law, Minihan said. The bill was drafted by Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Mara-thon) and Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg).and Jeff Ramin and Steve Zach voting against, the 2-2 vote resulted in a failed motion. Krause said the “time may have come” for the idea of giving supplemental pay for certain teachers, but said it should not be done without first reaching out to the teachers’ union and “getting some feedback.”“We’ve always taken the market into consideration, but in this case, we’re tak-ing certain teachers in a certain area and saying the market affects them in a way it doesn’t affect other teachers, and there-fore regardless of senior-ity or anything else, we’re going to give them more pay because the market will take them away if we don’t,” he said. “I want to talk to the unions to let them know what we’re thinking … and we value their input.”Krause said he asked the board to move quickly on the matter and possibly meet again later in the week for further discussion or action “because we may lose our top candidates for an open position.”Vogeler said the move would be a “very signifi-cant change” from the way the board has done busi-ness in the past, necessitat-ing talking things over with district employees first. “It would possibly set up a two-tier scale … and cause some disruption and a little bit of angst among the employees – ‘Why are some people getting this very significant raise while other people are not?’” she said. “To head that off, it’s important we engage the employees in this conversa-tion.”Vogeler said with three new board members joining in two weeks, final deci-sions on the matter should wait until then.“Any kind of decision like this should be taken in terms of the big picture,” she said. Zach opposed the motion, saying he wanted to take immediate action on the pay increases “because of pending recruitment, that’s critical to take action on supplemental pay so as to be able to extend an offer.” After Krause’s motion failed, Zach offered a new motion to offer the unspecific teachers a sup-plemental retention bonus addendum that board mem-bers had discussed. Jeff Ramin seconded, but the motion failed with exactly the same vote as Krause’s.
Supplemental pay issue put off
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School libraries receive state funding
According to a press release last week from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Oregon School District will receive $108,781 from the state’s Common School Fund. The amount is based on the number of children ages 4-20 liv-ing in public school dis-tricts across the state. The Common School Fund was established by the Wisconsin Constitution as a permanent trust fund. The district must use the funds by June 30 to purchase books, digital resources and technology housed in school librar-ies. State Superintendent Tony Evers said the funds are integral in helping students develop college- and career-ready skills needed for their future.“The allocations from the Common School Fund are the main and sometimes only funding available to purchase the school library resources – digital and print – that are accessible to students in our schools,” he said.
Local couple buying another historic building
No major changes planned yet
Uniﬁed Newspaper Group
The couple that bought and renovated the two buildings that are now Mason’s on Main restaurant and bar on South Main Street confirmed Tuesday that they have an accepted offer to buy another historic building on the same block in downtown Oregon.Jerry and Bonnie Thiel have a May 30 closing scheduled for the property at 101 S. Main St., the home of two businesses, DeBroux’s Diner and Academy of Sound.Jerry Thiel told the Observer buying the building “is just a long-term invest-ment” and he doesn’t foresee any significant change of use for it.“We’re hoping that Greg (DeBroux, owner of the din-er) is going to elect to stay with us and that the down-town only gets better, and that he can prosper along there with everybody else,” Thiel said. “I think there’s enough business to go around for everybody. We’re buying the building hope-fully to enhance his business going forward.”The building was listed for sale at $495,000, and was assessed last year at $393,100.Thiel said he believes the building was constructed in about 1898, the same year that the Netherwood Build-ing in the 100 block of Janes-ville Street was reconstructed after it burned down, and the former Masonic Lodge was built on South Main Street. That building is now one half of Mason’s on Main.Thiel said the only change planned for the 101 S. Main St. building is replacing a door that current owner Jeff Aebly had installed more than two years ago. It has been the subject of numer-ous discussions and potential legal action by the village because it’s in violation of the South Main Street His-toric District Ordinance.“We don’t want to change anything except that door,” Thiel said. “We’re hoping the village will give us a lit-tle time after we purchase it to put in a historically correct door.”Thiel said a rumor that he and his wife were consider-ing opening a brew pub in the building is not accurate. “It is a possibility, but I don’t believe that is going to be the venue or the building for it,” he said.He noted the building they’re buying is “in rela-tively good shape.”“We hope to straighten out a few things and make it last another 100 years or so,” Thiel said.Academy of Sound music studio occupies most of the building’s second floor, along with a two-bedroom apartment.Thiel also confirmed that he and his wife had made an offer for the property at 455 Jefferson St. the former DiMaggio family home, which the village bought last year. Most of the 16.5-acre parcel has been turned into park land, but the house and about an acre of land have been listed for sale. The Village Board discussed the Thiels’ offer two weeks ago in a closed session and rejected the offer.
Jerry and Bonnie Thiel have a May 30 closing scheduled for the property at 101 S. Main St., the home of two businesses, DeBroux’s Diner and Academy of Sound.
Scott De Laruelle