The Viroqua City Council approved a proposal for engineering services for applying for grants for commercial and industrial development on the north end of the city at its meeting Tuesday night. The proposal intends to include both city and county land (including part of the County Farm lands) on Hwy. BB
The City Council voted 7-0 to hire Vierbicher of Reedsburg; alderpersons Gregory Splinter and Mike Koppa were absent.
Sarah Grainger, city engineer/public works director, said a resolution was passed by both the county (Resolution 2018-20, adopted April 17) and the city (Resolution 018-RS 008, adopted April 24) to work together to get EDA (U.S. Economic Development Agency) grant funds. Grainger told the Council two firms were interviewed June 5 at a Public Works Committee meeting – MSA and Vierbicher – and three individuals from the county were present. She said each firm gave a presentation, and they were ranked on project experience, project understanding, fees and project team.
Securing EDA funds with Vernon County, Grainger said, will help the city get grant funds for future development on the north end of the city of Viroqua. City Administrator John Severson said the Public Works Committee unanimously recommended Vierbicher. Severson said he and Grainger spoke about the joint grant status at a Vernon County Building and Facilities Planning Committee meeting June 7.
Grainger added that the project is EDA-qualified because of the disaster declaration from storms in 2016.
Grainger said the city will get a master plan “to see what to do out there.” “We want feedback from potential businesses in that area.”
Grainger said the city liked Vierbicher’s proposal because it was set up with flexibility for whatever business that comes to that area. “North of town there are changes in elevation… we would leave the waterways natural,” she said.
Severson said the city would “wrap a TIF District” around the area. “Because it’s an EDA grant, it must be industrial.”
“It’s county-owned land now; some parts are already city owned,” Severson said. “That’s why it’s a joint process.”
In other business, alderpersons approved an application for a temporary Class B beer license for Viroqua Legion Baseball to serve at Viroqua Chamber Night Markets in Eckhart Park. Market dates are June 20, July 18, Aug. 15 and Sept. 19 from 6-9 p.m. Fifty percent of the proceeds will benefit Main Street revitalization and the other 50 percent will benefit Legion baseball.
The City Council also approved two 2018-2019 alcohol license renewals and voted to approve operator licenses. City Clerk/Treasurer Lori Polhamus gave the City Hall 2017 department report.