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2014 Stoughton Focus

2014 Stoughton Focus

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Published by veronapress
2014 Stoughton Focus
2014 Stoughton Focus

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Published by: veronapress on Jun 26, 2014
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9 -
The Courier Hub - Focus on Stoughton
- June 26, 2014
Community Banking Since 1904
 “As one of Dane County’s largest retirement communities, a relationship with
McFarland State Bank 
 makes perfect sense. They provide Skaalen Retirement Services with all of our banking needs by offering innovative ideas and products. They provide exemplary customer service and always make us feel like we’re their #1 customer.”
Downtown Stoughton Location
207 S Forrest St
SKAALEN Knows the Value of Long-term Relationships!
Kris Krentz
President and CEO
Skaalen Retirement Service, Inc.
Steve Swanson
McFarland State Bank 
Lake Kegonsa Location
3162 Country Rd B
 Also in McFarland & Sun
Referendum breathes new life into schools
District would have been lowest-funded in county
Unified Newspaper Group 
After asking for and receiving the trust of district voters during the successful April referen-dum, the Stoughton Area School District (SASD) has gained a bit of breath-ing room in its uphill battle against declining enrollment.The district, which had been in danger of being the lowest-funded in the county, received a sub-stantial shot in the arm with approval of the four-year, $20 million recur-ring referendum April 1 on nearly a 2-to-1 margin (3,773 to 2,212). Still, with no end or solutions in sight for stemming declining enrollment - the lifeblood of a school dis-trict – there is still work to be done to maintain its recent academic improve-ments. The referendum replaced two approved in 2010 that expired this month. According to the district, it will cost the owner of a $200,000 house an additional $105 per year during the next four years. Had it failed, taxpayers would have seen a $325 reduction next year, but the district would have faced a $3.1 million shortfall, and around $1.5 million for the 2015-16 school year.Despite the success of the referendum, district officials have maintained they must continue to keep a leash on spending, evidenced by continued, though slight, staff reduc-tions for the upcoming school year. SASD super-intendent Tim Onsager said the district has built into its upcoming bud-get projections a need to reduce at least two full-time employees in each of the next four years due to declining enrollment, projected to be around 30 less students for the 2014-15 school year. The referendum did raise the funding “floor” for the district, however, preventing a “worst-case scenario” district offi-cials had worked out in case of a failure, includ-ing the likely cutting of the equivalent of 33 posi-tions, reducing buildings and grounds services, increasing class sizes and freezing pay for all staff
‘Together, we’ve accomplished a great deal and we’ll need to work together to continue that work to keep Stoughton  vibrant.’
Tim Onsager Stoughton Area School District superintendent 
Turn to
 /Page 14 
File photos
The Stoughton community has made progress in a number of social, economic and educational categories during the past year. Clockwise, the Stoughton Area School District passed a funding referendum, while commerce and art have been boosted downtown. Stoughton’s history got a renewed look with the opening of the Luke Stoughton House along the river, in addition to a new park near city hall.
June 26, 2014
Courier Hub ConnectStoughton.com
Focus on Stoughton
Summit Credit Union is known for helping people reachtheir financial goals. And $50 is a great way to get youstarted. At the same time, you’ll be doing something good for the community. Because we’ll also give $50 toStoughton Area Community Foundation, Public Library or School District. Just tell us which one. And don’t forgetto come by for the celebration. You could win a $500 gift card to the Kalahari Resort in the Dells and we’ll beserving treats from local businesses all week. It’s good tobe a member of Summit. And Stoughton.
*New members only. Membership requires a primary savings account. Minimum to open $5. Annual Percentage Rate (APY), as of May 28, 2014 is 0.05%. Rate may change at any time. Minimum balance to obtain APY is $25. $50 cash bonus will be deposited to your account at account opening. Cash bonuses are considered taxable income and are subject to 1099 tax reporting. Offer expires June 28, 2014. Federally insured by NCUA.
Events give downtown a boost
While development on the city’s western edge drew most of the head-lines during the past year, it needs to be noted that efforts to boost the city’s core business district are also underway.Special shopping events – Third Thursdays and First Saturdays – have been set up to bolster downtown foot traffic and commerce.Third Thursdays - sometimes called Busi-ness After 5 - got started in October by a group of downtown merchants. More than 10 businesses keep their stores staffed extra hours on these nights to draw in customers who are downtown for other events like concerts at the Rotary Park or shows at the Opera House or Village Player’s Theater.First Saturdays has been going for a few months and capitalizes on Stough-ton’s thriving arts scene. Local artists and musicians take to the streets from 10 a.m. until noon on the first Saturday of the month. Shoppers can meet the art-ists outdoors and stop into shops along Main Street.
 – Mark Ignatowski
Summit Credit Union opens on city’s west side
Summit Credit Union’s new, eye-catching branch in Stoughton opened its doors earlier this month.Summit partnered with Madison-based Strang, Inc., to construct the sus-tainable building which features energy-efficient lighting, heating and air conditioning, reflective roofs, sustainable land-scaping and a storm water containment system. Sum-mit broke ground on the new, 3,100-square-foot facility, located at 2105 McComb Road, in October 2013.The new branch employs eight employees, six of whom were new hires who reside in the area, two of whom reside in Stough-ton. In addition to the eight employees, the branch has a business lending offi-cer and a financial adviser available by appointment to offer members a full spectrum of services.“We have heard from so many of our members how excited they are to have a branch in Stoughton,” Kim Sponem, CEO/president of Summit Credit Union said in a news release. “We’re eager to bring them a very convenient full-service location, partner with them in commitment to the com-munity and bring Summit value to their friends and neighbors, too.”The credit union – based out of Madison – has near-ly 30 locations in the Mad-ison and Milwaukee area. The company wanted to add a Stoughton office to serve members already liv-ing in the area. “We already have a well-established member-ship base in Stoughton, and members have been asking for a branch in this community,” Sponem said. “We are excited to have a more convenient location for these members, and we also hope to serve mem-bers in nearby Oregon and McFarland.”Established in 1935, Summit Credit Union is a member-owned finan-cial cooperative open to anyone in Wisconsin. Summit holds $2 billion in assets and has more than 136,000 members through-out the Madison and Mil-waukee areas. For more information, visit summitcreditunion.com.
Summit Credit Union
2105 McComb Roadsummitcreditunion.comLobby hours:
 Mon. – Thu. 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Fri. 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sat. 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
 Mon. – Fri. 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Photo submitted
Summit Credit Union opened its doors earlier this month.
Photo submitted
First Saturdays combine Stoughton’s vibrant arts scene and its downtown merchants to give shoppers entertainment and arts while they browse stores.
June 26, 2014
Courier HubConnectStoughton.com
Focus on Stoughton
Kettle Park West plans approved, but still in limbo
Council waiting for impact analysis
Unified Newspaper Group 
The proposed Kettle Park West commercial develop-ment continues to be debated in the community and at the Common Council.Plans have been stalled since March, when the Com-mon Council voted to put further approvals on hold until an economic impact analysis has been completed.The analysis is a required component of the city’s big box ordinance, and the For-ward Development Group has yet to provide the firm conducting the analysis with information it has requested for the study.“Economic impact study materials have still not been delivered to Maxfield,” the firm the city has hired to do the analysis, said planning director Rodney Scheel. “The development group, including their retailers, have not supplied the infor-mation requested yet.”The Common Council still has to create a tax-increment financing district. It asked the Plan Commission not to approve a Specific Develop-ment Plan for KPW until the city has received an indepen-dent analysis for the project.The council approved a development agreement with the Forward Development Group in late January.Some of the controversial project’s strongest support-ers have said they will not support moving forward with the KPW develop-ment if an impact analysis indicates it would harm the city’s economy. Supporters doubt that will happen, how-ever, while some opponents believe it could have a nega-tive effect on some existing businesses.The development agree-ment approved by the council Jan. 28 calls for building four retail/com-mercial buildings, includ-ing a 153,000-square-foot Wal-Mart SuperCenter, on 35 acres at the northwest corner of U.S. Hwy. 51 and state Hwy. 138. The plan includes $5.1 million in tax-increment financing for the project.TIF is a form of taxpayer assistance that is used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure and other community-improvement projects. It combines reve-nues from all taxing jurisdic-tions on projects that would not exist “but for” the use of the TIF.Forward Development Group began to assemble the proposed 325-acre develop-ment in late 2009. The first phase of the project involves a 35-acre commercial devel-opment, with Wal-Mart Inc. as the anchor business. FDG’s plan also calls for a bank, a convenience store and a restaurant, although the developer has declined to say specifically which busi-nesses it’s working with.In the development agree-ment narrowly approved by the council, the developer is required to construct off-site projects, estimated at a cost of $3 million, including improvements to U.S. Hwy. 51, state Hwy. 138 and Jack-son Street east and west. The developer is also obligated to construct pub-lic stormwater management infrastructure, estimated to cost $1.59 million. FDG is also required to provide a letter of credit in the amount of $2.5 million.The developer is to guar-antee that the city will receive sufficient actual tax increment, beginning in 2017, to fund all city debt service on city borrowing for stormwater management reimbursement and 70 per-cent of city debt service on city borrowing to pay for off-site improvements reim-bursement. And the developer is required to provide docu-mentation that three lots, apart from Wal-Mart, the anchor tenant, have been sold to commercial enter-prises. Those businesses are obligated to substantially complete construction by Oct. 31, 2015.The city borrowed $2.3 million earlier this year for the project to meet its part of the development agreement. The city is also required to reimburse the developer for off-site improvements, up to $2.99 million, and reim-burse up to $1.5 million for stormwater improvements at the site. It also has pledged to reimburse the developer up to $550,000 for grading at the site.Mayor Donna Olson said the city built many contin-gencies into the agreement that, if not met, would have the effect of negating the development agreement. But she’s been a strong supporter of the project as a way to stimulate economic devel-opment, which all agree the city badly needs.
 Building and Sustaining  Neighborhoods…
The New Gazebo at Stoughton Rotary Park.
…While Helping Support Our Community
We Don’t Skip the Details.
3185 Deer Point Dr., Stoughton, WI(608) 877-1131
Visit our website www.shawbuilders.com
KPW timeline
• June 2011:
 Urban Service Area amended
• Sept. 2011:
 Traffic impact analysis submitted to state
• June 2012:
 Comprehensive plan amended
• June 2013:
 Annexation of 142 acres
• Nov. 2013:
 General development plan approved
• Jan. 2014:
 Development agreement approved
• Feb. 2014:
 Reconsideration of devel-opment agreement failed
• March 2014:
 Council approves moratorium on creation of TIF district until economic impact analysis is completed
• April 2014:
 Council chooses firm to conduct economic impact analysis
Rendering courtesy
JSD Professional Services
Kettle Park West plans call for commercial, office and residential spaces along U.S. Hwy. 51 and state Hwy. 138. The Common Council is seeking additional information about the economic impact of the development before moving forward.
File photo
by Kimberly Wethal
Framing Stoughton’s heritage
Construction of the city’s new Norwegian Heritage Center is well underway this year. The build-ing is being constructed by the Bryant Foundation. When it opens early next year, the two-story, 15,000-square-foot center will house a genealogy library, lounge, auditorium and spaces for both per-manent and temporary exhibits related to Norwegian culture.

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