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City to spend more than it’s getting for marina lot PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 19:41

Council OKs bid for $154,000 of infrastructure work on car-trailer parking area it has agreed to sell for $140,000

    The Port Washington Common Council Tuesday approved a $154,000 contract to move the sewer lines on the car-trailer parking lot it plans to sell to architect Stephen Perry Smith for $140,000 next month.
    The low bid from David Tenor Corp. is far below the city’s initial estimate of $350,000 and the most recent estimate of $250,000.
    Even after the city figures in the potential cost of landfilling any contaminated spoils on the property, the total cost is expected to be less than $200,000, City Administrator Mark Grams said.
    The lower than expected price tag is due in large part to the fact that the city initially thought two sewer mains would have to be moved off the parking lot at the far east end of Washington Street.
    The current plan is to move one of the two lines into the street and relocate the other on the site to accommodate the 11 townhouses Smith plans to build there.
    The work will be financed through the wastewater utility, which has a substantial surplus, Grams said. The money will be repaid through the increased taxes generated by the townhouses, he said, adding the debt should be repaid in three to four years.
    “This is a TIF (tax incremental financing) project, but not a developer’s incentive,” Ald. Doug Biggs noted.
    TIF funds have traditionally been used for infrastructure work to facilitate development, officials said.
    Although the city will be spending $14,000 more for the utility work than it will receive from the sale of the land, officials have said the purchase offers other benefits. The real value comes from the increased tax base of the developed property and the impact of additional residential development in downtown.
    Four other firms also submitted bids for the project, which will be completed before the sale to Smith is completed, Grams said.
    Aldermen also approved several changes in Smith’s offer to purchase the parking lot to accommodate the work, setting the new closing date for the sale at July 17 — the Monday after Fish Day.
    That was done in part so Fish Day can use the parking lot for the July 15 festival, Grams said.
    Ald. Mike Gasper cast the lone dissenting vote on the amended offer to purchase.
    “I think we should resolve the boat-trailer parking issue before this happens,” he said.
    If the agreement and ultimate sale of the parking lot are approved, Smith’s townhouse development would become the first marina district proposal to be constructed.
    Smith is to begin construction of his project within six months after purchasing the property. If he doesn’t, the city has the option of buying the property back.

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