RLF/UDAG Approves Facade Grant, Pine View Property Sale

At a busy meeting on Monday, Dec. 12, the City of Peshtigo’s RLF/UDAG Committee approved a cost-share facade grant for Jim Wortner for new signs and an upgrade to some exterior portions of his Road King Excavating building at 851 Maple Street in Peshtigo; agreed to recommend sale of a vacant property in the Pine View Industrial and Commercial Park to Nelson Freight Service, Inc., subject to several site plan approval conditions; reviewed financial reports for the RLF and UDAG funds, and in closed session discussed a loan request.
After completing other business the committee went into closed session to discuss the potential loan or loans. They took no action after returning to open session before adjourning.
UDAG/RLF Committee members present were Dan Seymour, Tom Gryzwa, Tom Maxwell, Jr., Tim Finger and Alderman Debbie Sievert, who chairs the committee. Also on hand were Mayor Cathi Malke, City Attorney David Spangenberg, Wortner, Corby Jardinowski of Nelson Freight Services, Inc. and City Clerk/Treasurer Tammy Kasal.
Wortner briefly explained his plans to put a new sign on the roof and at the front of the Road King building and to generally upgrade the front of the building. Seymour said the plans looked fine to him, and noted the committee could approve up to $10,000 in matching grant funds for the project. Maxwell agreed the project looked good and commented this is exactly the type of project it was created for. Other committee members agreed and all voted in favor. Wortner was advised to submit invoices after the work is done and he will be reimbursed for half the cost, up to the $10,000 maximum.
Wortner’s project is the fourth Facade Grant application to be approved since the fund was created in 2021. The others are Brown’s Corner for $6,894 in September of 2021, Peshtigo Apparel for $10,000 in October of 2021, and River Pub for $10,000, which was approved in July of 2022.
Nelson Freight Services, Inc. is located on three parcels at the corner of Pine Street and Old Peshtigo Road, and the L-shaped property Jardinowski plans to buy is located directly south of the center lot, and would give access from the Frontage Road just north of Maple Street.
The narrow portion, on Frontage Road, is adjacent to the Bella Hair Workshop, a barber/beauty shop owned by Amanda Bruette, and much of the committee discussion focused on the effect semis driving in and out and parking there could have on the beauty shop.
Jardinowski told the committee Nelson Freight has doubled in size and needs more parking space for semis. He said they have a hand shake agreement to use Arimon parking area across the street in return for keeping that property plowed and maintained, but he would like something more permanent.
He said his firm has been in the community since 1993 and recently purchased another business as well, which adds to their need for parking area. They also have drop lots for trailers in Green Bay and Manitowoc. He said if they cannot reach an agreement on this property he will need to do something else, that could possibly include relocating the business.
“This property was supposed to be used for something besides parking trucks,” Gryzwa said of the L-shaped potion facing Frontage Road. He asked Jardinowski if he could just use the back half for parking.
Jardinowski said having access from Frontage Road would be a very big benefit, and suggested rather than parking there, they could perhaps use it for a driveway and locate their fuel island on that portion of the 1.3 acre property.
Properties in the Pine View Industrial and Commercial Park were originally sold subject to covenants that govern what can be built on them and require the parcels to be returned to the city if construction or other development is not started within a specific time frame.
Spangenberg said for some years the covenant provisions were not enforced and this property was one of the first the city had taken back after the UDAG/RLF Committee began enforcing the agreements. He said Bruette was not happy when they did that, and that he had assured her she would be given some say in what the property would be used for. He asked the committee to allow him to keep that promise.
Maxwell asked Jardinowski if he would be willing to gravel the driving area, and Jardinowski said he would most likely pave it to keep everything clean.
Maxwell noted when the city resumed ownership of the property Bruette was concerned that she might want it to expand her shop. On the other hand, it has been vacant for four or five years and there had been no offers.
Seymour commented they had recently sold a parcel in the park that will just be used or storage buildings.
“We want to help you, but we’re hampered by covenants,” Gryzwa told Jardinowski.
“I think we’re making this overly complicated,” Maxwell commented. He said Jardinowski could  just make it one lot and then it would meet the covenant requirements.
“If we can make this happen, we should,” Gryzwa agreed.
Maxwell suggested they could sell it to Jardinowski subject to some conditions, including that he pave it, perhaps add it to his existing lot, and put up a fence or plantings to shield the adjoining business.
Seymour agreed it should be paved to prevent dust from flying onto adjoining lots.
There was talk that as it is, if he ever sold he would need to sell it to the city, but that restriction would not apply if he combines it with his other parcel or parcels.
Kasal remarked that paving will increase the property value, and that value would remain forever, whereas not the city is getting no taxes on the property.
Spangenberg noted that paving as a condition of sale has been a problem because in the past the covenants were not enforced, and said it does not sit very well if not everyone has to abide by the rules.
Malke asked the committee to stipulate that the semis will not park next to the two existing businesses. The narrow portion is 114 feet wide by about 163 feet deep. the Veterinarian’s office is on the other side.
Jardinowski said that section will not even be the main ingress and egress to his business. His main entrances are on Pine Street and Old Peshtigo Road.
After a bit of discussion on green areas, fences and drainage issues, including that runoff from the paved area cannot be directed to neighboring properties, the committee unanimously approved a motion to recommend to City Council that they sell the property to Jardinowski subject to site plan approval. Spangenberg stipulated that he wanted to talk with Bruette and make sure she is okay with the site plans before going forward, and Malke said he also wanted to talk with her. Jardinowski said he likes having her as a neighbor, and will be happy to work with her.
Purchase price, in accord with covenant agreements for Pine View Industrial and Commercial Park, is $2,000 an acre for the 1.3-acre parcel.
Financial reports show the RLF has a cash balance of $351,999.21 and one outstanding loan for $16,430.90 at 3 percent interest. A balance of $41,111.70 from  a $90,000 loan made to Faucett Forest Products in 2015 remains uncollected.
The UDAG Loan Fund has a cash balance of $948,140.86, outstanding loans of $2,478,185, and a CD for $100,000 at .6 percent interest, for total assets of $3.526,326.46. The outstanding loan total includes $625,000 owed by the City of Peshtigo Water Utility, which is paying 1 percent interest. The other loans have interest rates ranging from 2 percent to 4.13 percent.
After completing other business the committee went into closed session to discuss  a loan application, and then adjourned without taking action in the public portion of the meeting.


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