BY JANE MYHRA
MANAWA – Termination of the tax increment finance (TIF) district #1 was approved by the Manawa Common Council at its May 3 meeting.
“This is a very monumental event,” stated Mayor David Sarna.
Dissolving the TIF district will add about $32 million to the value of the city, according to City Clerk Cheryl Hass. The city’s total value is $86 million, but the TIF value was kept separate for tax purposes. This excess increment will now be distributed to the overlying taxing districts.
Manawa opened the TIF district April 20, 1992, to include the Sturm Foods expansion into the Industrial Park on the south side of the city. The district was later expanded to include portions of the downtown area for another Sturm Foods expansion. The TIF district was expanded a third time to help finance improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant, which was necessary to accommodate the Sturm Foods expansion.
Tax money generated in the TIF district can only be used for improvements in that district or to pay off the TIF loan. The final loan payment on the TIF district is $1.2 million, which is due by May 2011.
“We could have closed this TIF district a few years ago, but the council decided to amend it because there were so many projects to finish,” Hass explained. “I’m really excited we have generated enough tax revenue to pay it off.”
After paying off the TIF District, the clerk-treasurer must submit paperwork and final audit to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue by May 15.
In other business, the council:
•?Approved hiring Jeremy Dunnihoo at $11 per hour to supervise practices for the city’s summer recreation program, pending the approval of coaches Carey Celske and Scott Hahn.
•?Approved hiring Dan Roenz, Ashley Braun, Briana Draeger, Krista Braun, Kayla Draeger, Eric Langman and BJ Block for the summer rec program, pending the approval of the Manawa Police Department.
•?Agreed to improvements to Triangle Park not to exceed $4,000.
• Noted the board of review and open book will be held May 17.
Little Wolf River Trail
Alderperson Deb Nolan reported on the progress of the Little Wolf River Trail that is being developed within the city.
The Pat Wade Memorial Trail by the Manawa Middle School is complete. The next step is to extend the trail to the Little Wolf Town Hall. Volunteers are also working on the area by Lindsay Park.
All material is purchased using donated funds, about $10,000 in grant monies, and proceeds from the Stampede Run and Walk, held prior to the annual Mid-Western Rodeo.
“It’s progressing very nicely,” she stated. “There are a lot of people who do a lot of work.”
The long-range plan is to extend the trail to Bear Lake and Cedar Springs, according to trail committee member Dewey Carl.
The trail committee requested that the city partner with them on the project. Manawa’s roads and sidewalks are needed to complete the trail through the city.
“We could put together six miles of trails in the city of Manawa,” Carl stated. “And everything is paid for with donations.”
Meeting date change
The council discussed changing its meeting date back to the third Monday of the month.
“There are still a lot of conflicts with the first Monday. We’re putting our clerk’s office in a real bind,” stated Finance and Personnel Chair Bob Lieberman. “The reason for the change was to avoid conflict with school board meetings, but the focus has shifted.”
“I’m opposed to still conflicting with the school board meetings,” Sarna argued. “I want to keep it open so the public can attend both meetings. It’s a bad public service to have both meetings on the same date. I really want to avoid it.”
Sarna agreed to discuss the matter with Manawa District Administrator Duane Braun. The meeting date change will be on the agenda for the council’s June 7 meeting.