A builder’s agreement between the city of Tomah and 3rd Gen LLC has been approved by the Tomah City Council.
The agreement provides $1.25 million for building assistance via Tax Incremental Finance District 8 to be paid to 3rd Gen upon the city receiving a certificate of occupancy, Roger Gorius, Tomah city administrator, said.
The council voted 5-3 in favor of the builder’s agreement with council members Luke Bohlen (District 2), Mary Ann Komiskey (District 1) and Wayne Kling (District 7) dissenting.
Gorius said the agreement came about because 3rd Gen applied for assistance; however, the TID is new and has yet to generate revenue, so the builder’s agreement was created. As part of the agreement, 3rd Gen must construct a facility worth at least $8.9 million to generate the needed property tax revenue to repay the money.
“That money will be generated back to the city through those taxes, probably at a 90-10 split − $90,000 will go to pay off the loan, $10,000 will probably stay to take care of incidentals like interest,” Gorius said.
He said when the city offers such assistance, there’s a builder’s agreement so that it doesn’t “put the city into a negative light financially.”
Work has already begun on the site of the former TeePee Supper Club, where 3rd Gen is preparing to construct a building that will include a restaurant, retail space and residential apartments.
Gorius said any business within the boundaries of TID 8, which includes all of downtown Tomah, can apply for assistance for some form of renovation as long as the business is viable and would be able to return revenue.
“It has got to take itself from one tax level to a higher tax level in order for it to be profitable for both people — the city and the merchant,” he said.
Tomah mayor Nellie Pater said 3rd Gen was the first to apply for assistance via the TID. She believes it will be able to fulfill the agreement.
“I have confidence that our TID district will work,” she said. “I feel that because we have a TID district, the Gerkes were able to come to us to apply for whatever it is they needed to complete the project. I think that’s what the TID is − it’s to help. It is an awful lot of money, but I’m hoping that the city will find ways to help all the other businesses that come in that need money.”
Gorius hopes more businesses apply for assistance.
“If people see that they want to do things to the downtown, if they want to fix their facades ... do work on their buildings to get them a better look, or improved look or anything, I would say yes, I would like to see them,” he said.