Port committee decides fate of proposed financing district that would pave way for Cedar Vineyard project
A committee was expected to decide Wednesday the fate of a proposed tax incremental financing district that would pave the way for a 73-lot subdivision with a vineyard, winery and 101-acre nature preserve on Port Washington’s south side.
The Joint Review Board was scheduled to review the costs and benefits of the TIF district, which would include not just the Cedar Vineyard subdivision but also a portion of the city’s industrial park.
Also on the agenda for the 6 p.m. meeting was possible action on a resolution creating the TIF district, which would pay for much of the infrastructure needed for the subdivision.
The proposed TIF district has 409 acres that include the Cedar Vineyard land, which stretches on the east side of Highway C from an area south of the Kingdom Hall to south of Stonecroft Drive, as well as 27 acres on the west side of Highway C along the south side of Stonecroft Drive.
It also includes a patchwork of industrial park land stretching from Highway C west to South Spring Street.
The proposed conservancy was to be the topic of the Ozaukee County Board meeting Wednesday, Aug. 19.
A presentation on the subdivision and the conservancy, called the Cedar Bluffs Nature Preserve, was on the board’s agenda.
While the Cedar Vineyard subdivision is being built by the Highview Group, the developer will sell the conservancy land, which includes property along the Lake Michigan bluff, to the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust.
A Department of Natural Resources grant is expected to pay for a significant portion of the $2 million purchase of the nature preserve, with Ozaukee County and the City of Port Washington picking up the outstanding balance.
The city will finance its share of the funding through the TIF district.
The Ozaukee County Board, which agreed to the concept of paying as much as $1 million for the preserve in March, is expected to vote in September on a funding resolution that will cement financing for the conservancy.
The TIF projects are expected to total $7 million, including $5 million for infrastructure —including sewer and water improvements, roadwork and trails — for the 227-acre Cedar Vineyard subdivision.
Another $950,000 will go toward developing about 50 acres of industrial land along South Spring Street.
The development, however, is expected to add $71.4 million to the city’s tax base and pay for itself within 16 years.
In a TIF district, taxes generated by improvements on the properties pay for the infrastructure over the length of the district.
The Joint Review Board is made up of representatives of all the taxing districts — the City of Port, Ozaukee County, Port Washington-Saukville School District and Milwaukee Area Technical College — as well as a citizen member.
After the board has approved the TIF district, the state will review it to ensure proper procedures have been followed and to certify the base value of the district.