Proposal includes underutilized properties
By Jane Myhra
Manawa’s Plan Commission approved a proposed tax increment financing district Thursday, Oct. 22.
The Joint Review Board examined the proposed draft and presented the TIF District 2 resolution to the city’s Plan Commission following a public hearing.
The Plan Commission agreed to recommend the resolution to the Manawa Common Council for its special meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
Final action to enact the TIF district will occur after the project plan is drafted.
The proposed TIF district includes an expansion of the Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. facility at 1211 Depot Street.
Kolbe plans to expand its facility by 68,000 square feet. This could double the size of the company’s current plant at an estimated cost of $3.7 million.
The TIF district also includes vacant land, city-owned property and a currently closed convenience store, all on the east side of Manawa.
According Ehlers, a financial and development advisory company working with Manawa, the district was expanded to include other properties considered as underutilized. The potential TIF includes industrial, commercial and residential properties.
“We see it as an area that has potential for development or redevelopment,” said Philip Cosson, senior municipal adviser for Ehlers.
According Ehlers, the value of the expanded Kolbe facility is estimated at about $2.2 million in taxable evaluation.
“This $2.2 million more than pays for any anticipated development or redevelopment as the TIF builds out,” Cosson said.
Cosson said there is no “absolute commitment” from Kolbe, which is headquartered in Wausau.
“(The Kolbe expansion) is all contingent on the TIF and the development agreement,” Cosson said. “This (TIF district) is a way for the city of Manawa to provide necessary incentives to Kolbe to expand in Manawa rather than go elsewhere.”
“The incentive makes the project financially feasible for Kolbe,” said David Thiel, Waupaca County Economic Development director.
“Their commitment is sincere,” said Mayor John Smith. “They like it here.”
“Manufacturing jobs are the highest paying jobs in our area,” Thiel said. “Getting a commitment by a large industry is important and no one – on the state or county level – has the tools to help as much as the city can.”
According to Cosson, the Kolbe expansion will include the addition of a minimum of 25 jobs, with the possibility of a maximum of 75 new jobs.
Cosson said the proposed TIF has a potential life of 20 years. It could be paid up and closed in eight years, if no amendments are made to the original TIF district.
He noted that all financial estimates are based on a flat tax rate.
Final approval of the proposed TIF District 2 will occur in late November or early December.
Kolbe expects to have construction completed by spring of 2016.