The New London Economic Development Committee unanimously approved moving forward with a Phase I Environmental Study for the Northeast Industrial Park on Tuesday, July 28.
The move will position the city to join the Fox Cities Regional Partnership “Ready to Build” program in the future.
The “Ready to Build” program assembles an inventory of certified properties available and ready for development in the partnership service area, including Outagamie, Calumet and northern Winnebago Counties.
In order to certify a site as “Ready to Build,” a number of things need to be completed, including an archeological study, endangered species study and Phase i environmental study.
City Administrator Kent Hager explained that doing these studies up front make the land more marketable to prospective buyers.
He said ordinarily financial institutions require these studies be done by the potential buyer prior to approving their financing.
Having the land certified “Ready to Build” affords potential buyers the greatest benefit with the least exposure to risk.
Director of Public Works Jeff Bodoh received cost estimates for the three studies that would need to be done. The Phase I Environmental Study cost is $3,500, the Endangered Species Study is $1,200 and the archeological study is $7,700.
New London has 140 acres of available land in the Northeast Industrial Park, which is one of the largest sites available in the region. The cost estimates received by Bodoh would cover studies for the balance of available land in the industrial park.
“There are some cost benefits of completing the studies on a larger scale,” said Hager. “We have some wide open spaces that should be easier to analyze, as compared to a number of smaller platted sites.”
New London’s industrial park is not platted.
Bodoh said the city already has geotechnical studies for the Northeast Industrial Park, but would need to obtain some additional mapping and updating of utilities in the GIS map.
Hager informed the committee that they have $8,000 available for “Sundry” (various items) in the Economic Development Budget for this year.
“I would propose that we utilize these funds to initiate work on accomplishing the studies necessary for us to apply for the “Ready to Build” program,” said Hager.
“The logic behind it is good, and we have the money budgeted.”
Chairman Dave Morack made a motion to complete the Phase I Environmental Study at a cost of $3,500 and John Romberg seconded the motion. Plans are to complete the other two studies in the 2015 budget.
Currently there are only two industrial parks in the Fox Cities area with completed site readiness certification. One is located in Appleton and the other in Neenah.