Village of Boyceville delays decision on TIF update proposals

By LeAnn R. Ralph

BOYCEVILLE  —  The Boyceville Village Board has delayed making a decision on updates for the village’s Tax Increment Finance Districts.

Erik Evenson with MSA Professional Services and Patrick Beilfuss with Cedar Corporation spoke to the village board about the updates at Monday night’s meeting.

A recent change in state law requires joint review boards for TIFs to meet annually before July 1 and also requires an audit, a summary and a report filed with the state for the tax increment district.

Joint review boards for TIFs include representatives for the municipality where the TIF is located, the county, the school district, the local technical college and a member “at large.”

During the joint review board meeting, the board could decide to extend the TIF for another three years, Evenson noted.

No matter which company handles the TIF audit and report and the meeting of the joint review board, “the end result is the same,” Beilfuss said.

Cedar Corporation also would use Ehlers Inc. as the financial consultant, he said.

The information for the reports is uploaded online, and the amount of time spent uploading would depend on how active the TIF has been, Beilfuss said.

The TIFs have been relatively quiet, and the amount of work should be minimal, he said. 

A public notice also would have to be published in the newspaper prior to the meeting of the joint review board, Beilfuss said. 

A tax increment district, also known as a TID, has a base property value when the district is formed. Each of the taxing authorities receives their share of the property taxes from the base value for the life of the district. When improvements are made within the tax increment district, the property taxes that would have been paid on the improvements, instead of being paid to the taxing authorities, goes into a special fund for the village. The village can then use those funds to make further improvements in the tax increment district, such as street projects.

Tax increment districts are set up for either 20 or 27 years.

Evenson said he had heard it was possible the law may be changed to allow representatives for the taxing authorities to attend the meetings of the joint review board by telephone rather than in person.

Technical colleges would have many TIF districts within their jurisdictions, requiring a representative for a technical college to attend many joint review board meetings, Beilfuss said.

Evenson had provided a written proposal to the village board, and Beilfuss said he would be willing to provide a proposal for the same services outlined by MSA after Ehlers had considered the cost of providing an analysis for communities. 

Gilbert Krueger, village president, said the village board had planned to make a decision on the MSA proposal at the February 13 meeting.

MSA would have “a leg up,” Krueger said, because the company had brought it to the attention of the village “to begin with.”

Village Trustee Keith Sorensen wondered what the penalty would be if a meeting of the joint review board were properly noticed and convened but a quorum was not established to actually hold the meeting.

Evenson said the penalty would be $100 per day, and that if a quorum were not established, the meeting of the joint review board would not be considered to be a proper meeting.

Village Trustee Bud Gilbertson said the village board should wait for a proposal from Cedar Corporation so the board could make a comparison between the two proposals.

The Boyceville Village Board agreed to wait on making a decision until Cedar Corporation had submitted a proposal as well.

$20

During the public comments portion of the meeting, Jeremiah Schmidt, a resident at 1038 Main Street, complained about a citation carrying a fine of $150 that had been issued for failing to clear the sidewalk of ice and snow.

Schmidt insisted that he always kept the sidewalk cleared.

Lyle Rambo said Schmidt was in the process of purchasing the property from him but that the paperwork had not yet been completed.       

Schmidt said he did not believe he should have to pay the citation and that he was meticulous in keeping the sidewalk cleared because he is concerned for the safety of children and other people, especially in view of the fact that his son is ill and cannot afford to slip, fall and injure himself.

Because of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, his son would be injured worse than other children if he fell on the sidewalk, Schmidt said, noting that his son, although it was not clear if it were the critically ill son, had slipped on the sidewalk at school, resulting in a hand injury that left the family with significant medical bills.

Schmidt said as far as he knew, the school district had not been issued a citation for failing to clear the sidewalk.

The $150 fine for not clearing sidewalks is included in the village’s ordinances, Krueger said.

Several weather events this winter have resulted in freezing rain, slush and snow during warmer weather immediately followed by much colder weather that caused the slush and snow to freeze solid.

Although it was not completely clear how many citations had been issued all together for failing to remove snow and ice from sidewalks, Boyceville Police Chief Greg Lamkin said in one instance, ten locations had received citations after 2 p.m. one afternoon and that another nine locations had been identified that evening. 

Krueger made a motion, seconded by Village Trustee Bud Gilbertson, to reduce the fine from $150 down to $20. The motion was approved, with Village Trustee Keith Sorensen voting against the motion.

Other business 

In other business, the Boyceville Village Board:

• Learned from Police Chief Lamkin that there had been a break in the Boyceville Community Fire Department burglary that occurred last summer and that six had been charged in the case.

• Learned that the Boyceville Police Department had responded to 58 calls for service in January.

• Learned that the Boyceville Police Department’s new squad car had arrived February 13.

• Learned that a building permit had been issued to Grace Baptist Church, 515 East, for a bathroom remodel.

• Approved bartender operator’s licenses for Jennifer Vanderheiden and Larissa Pelzi for the period ending June 30, 2017.

• Learned that Gilbertson had applied for a grant from the Dunn County Community Foundation for a pavilion by the butter churn.

• Approved listing for sale three village-owned properties previously discussed.

• Approved contracting with Schmidt Electric to rewire the village president’s office in the village hall. The amount of the bid was not included in the motion.

• Approving paying village board members per diem on a quarterly basis rather than annually. 

• Approved purchasing new carpet from Nevins Flooring for the clerk-treasurer’s office. An amount for the carpeting was not included in the motion. Lee said that Rassbach’s had quoted $1,133.94 for carpeting but that she had found a carpet sample she liked that was in stock at Nevins.