Clintonville council members approved a resolution regarding an $18 million Industrial Development Revenue Bond Financing project for Walker Forge Tuesday, Aug. 10.
The federal and state governments allow municipalities to sign off on debt for industrial expansions, therefore companies can get better interest rates and save money when working with the city.
Walker Forge will assume all costs related to the financing, including legal and advertising fees. The city has no obligation relating to the $18 million; the municipality is simply a funnel-through entity that allows Walker Forge to obtain better financing.
“Walker Forge came to us via their attorneys, and the council took the first step to allow this project to proceed by voting in favor of the resolution,” said City Administrator Lisa Kuss. “It is now up to Walker Forge to come back to the city and work out more of the details with us if they are ready to move forward with the project. In this case, the city is not a co-signer; we are just a funnel-through entity.
“We want to thank the Walker family for continuing to expand in Clintonville,” Kuss added.
Plant Manager Rick Recktenwald stated that the project will create about 40 additional jobs over the next 3 years. The 45,000 square foot expansion began in March, and pre-existing departments will expand into the new space.
“We’re very busy,” Recktenwald stated. “It’s important to look back and see how this all happened. Without the city building SSgt. Warren Hansen Drive, this $18 million project never would have been possible.”
The council went on to discuss the placement of the WW I cannon. The American Legion has declined the offer to have the cannon placed at their facility, so the city is working on plans to have the cannon placed at Riverwalk Park. The city will incur the costs of pouring a concrete slab and any other necessary construction needed. A retaining wall will be placed around the cannon, built into the side of the hill. A walkway will extend to the front of the cannon. The project is expected to be completed before winter.
The council also approved financial support in the amount of $600 for the Chamber of Commerce’s Fall Frenzy, to be held Sept. 18. The money will come from the Tourism, Marketing and Advertising budget. Main Street will be closed in the downtown area to facilitate the event on Sept. 18.
The council also was informed that a replacement flow meter for the waste system at the treatment facility has been installed. The project cost $1,900 using Department of Natural Resources Replacement Funds. The council also unanimously approved a motion to move forward with the auto-pay program for utility customers, allowing residents to sign up beginning with the September billing cycle.
The council also discussed purchasing laptop computers for council members. Various quotes were reviewed, including one from Best Buy that would provide HP Mini-Notebooks for $249.99 each. This cost is $5 over store cost.
“I think this is a great deal,” said Alderperson Steve Kettenhoven. “It will allow us all to stay updated, and the package includes training. We can’t beat the price on the individual units. I think it’s time for this council to go green.”
“I have some hesitation with the overall cost,” said Alderperson Mark Doornink. “We made some tough budget cuts last year that were less than what this project would cost.”
“It’s a great deal,” said Alderperson Jeannie Schley. “I would buy the computer myself, rather than put the cost on the city.”
“I understand the concerns over the price,” Kettenhoven said. “Currently, we are paying $1,000 per year to print paper packets for everyone each meeting. Getting the computers would eliminate the paper cost, and thus the computers would pay for themselves in four years.”
The council voted unanimously to refer the matter to the Finance Committee for further examination.