Written by MARK JAEGAR
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 17:43
Trustees have been brainstorming on ways to improve community
Village of Saukville officials are in the home stretch of a three-month-long process of setting strategic priorities.
The Village Board has been working with University of Wisconsin-Extension community development educator Nicole Sidoff since April to put the community’s goals on paper.
In explaining the process, Sidoff said the goal is “achieving a shared vision of the village’s future.”
A series of brainstorming sessions resulted in listing four strategic priorities — promoting and supporting residential, commercial and industrial development; pursuing opportunities to partner with other communities; engaging business owners and residents; and adjusting staffing and
resources to maximize their usefulness.
Trustees fleshed out each of those priorities during Tuesday’s meeting of the Finance Committee.
The resulting free-wheeling discussion covered how to achieve specific and general objectives itemized in the priority list.
One specific objective cited is to gain a better exchange of ideas with business owners, possibly through a community forum.
In the past, village officials have conducted business-retention tours, but the response was often lukewarm.
“I wish there was a way we could break down the doors and get through to the owners that we are interested in doing what we can for them,”
Village President Barb Dickmann said.
There was an equal sense of frustration when trustees talked about ways to bring more residential development to the community.
Two residential developments have already been platted on the village’s west side, but they never got past the planning stage.
“The signs are faded they have been standing there so long,” Dickmann said.
“I know the economy isn’t the greatest, but the fact is subdivisions are being put up in other communities and people are building.”
Another priority trustees identified is finding a way to market the 64-acre, mixed-used tax incremental district planned for north of the Pick ‘n Save
grocery store. Like most developments, the project has sat stagnant since the economy began to falter.
That TID was created as a “pay as you go” development, meaning infrastructure will only be put in when there is development.
“The only good thing about that TID is that it is developer financed, otherwise we would really be sweating it,” Trustee Robert Hamann said.
After compiling the comments made by trustees at the committee meeting, Sidoff said she would prepare a final list of shared priorities which are expected to be acted on by the Village Board at its next meeting.