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By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — A developer from Appleton is proposing to build a Dollar General store in Elk Mound and is preparing to make an offer to the village board for the empty lot east of the village hall.
Mike Pfefferle of Pfefferle Companies Inc. spoke to the the Elk Mound Village Board at the August 3 meeting about the site at E220 Menomonie Street as a location for a Dollar General store.
Pfefferle said he has been a developer for Dollar General since 2004 and that the company gives him a list of cities where Dollar General officials want to build stores.
Elk Mound is on the Dollar General list, he said.
As a developer, Pfefferle’s job is to drive around communities in Wisconsin and Minnesota and look for optimal sites to build Dollar General stores.
After talking to Pat Hahn, village clerk-treasurer, Pfefferle said he measured the lot, and a Dollar General store would fit.
The first step, he said, would be to come to an agreement with the village board about a purchase price for the lot.
Pfefferle said he plans on writing an offer and that he was attending the meeting to introduce himself and answer questions.
The Elk Mound Village Board met using the Zoom online platform.
Deborah Creaser-Kipp, village trustee and chair of the property and finance committee, asked about the timeframe after the offer to purchase has been accepted.
Once the purchase agreement is approved by the village board, Pfefferle said he would travel to Nashville, Tennessee, to do a presentation to Dollar General officials about building a store in Elk Mound.
Before “corporate” could make a decision, Pfefferle said he would have to take pictures of the community and the proposed site and would have to talk to the director of public works.
The decision about whether to make a deal with Pfefferle Companies usually takes 30 days, he said, noting that Dollar General signs a 15-year lease for the building.
Dollar General operates the store, but Pfefferle Companies is the landlord and obtains a rezone, if necessary, and all of the necessary permits, he said.
By the time the due diligence has been completed, the project would be ready to break ground next year, and the store could be expected to open next spring or next summer, Pfefferle said.
Dollar General will employ eight to 11 part-time and full-time employees, and the stores generally bring in between $18,000 and $24,000 annually in property taxes, he said.
Pfefferle Companies has built over 150 Dollar General stores, so “we’ve got it down to a science,” Pfefferle said.
Pfefferle Companies uses a civil engineer out of Stevens Point and two general contractors from Green Bay and Appleton but also tries to use local contractors whenever possible, he said.
In relation to another agenda item, the Elk Mound Village Board discussed the possibility of forming a second Tax Increment Finance District in the village, and village board members wondered if being in a TIF district would be advantageous for the Dollar General project.
The Dollar General project does not require a TIF district and is not asking for a TIF district, Pfefferle said.
If the village creates a second TIF and Dollar General does not ask for TIF funding, perhaps there could be some negotiation to offset the land cost, he said.
Sewer and water utilities are already at the site, so the consideration is the land cost, Pfefferle said.
Terry Stamm, village trustee and retired director of public works in Elk Mound, said it was possible the sewer and water laterals would have to be larger to accommodate the Dollar General store.
The stores have two bathrooms, a water fountain and are 9,100 square feet, so they do not need fire suppression sprinklers, Pfefferle said.
Later on, the agenda included an item pertaining to an appraisal for the lot at E220 Menomonie Street.
The property and finance committee met to look at the parcel and recommended the village board ask for an appraisal on the property based on what the village paid for the land, said Creaser-Kipp.
The asking price should include the cost of sewer and water, Stamm said.
An appraisal is necessary in case village residents ask why the village board accepted a certain price, Creaser-Kipp said.
The Elk Mound Village Board unanimously approved a motion to secure an appraisal for the lot at E220 Menomonie Street.
Voting in favor of the motion were Village President Steven Abraham and Village Trustees Cynthia Abraham, Creaser-Kipp, Greg Kipp, Jesse Jenson and Stamm.
Village Trustee Paula Turner was absent from the meeting.
The Elk Mound Village Board purchased the lot where the village hall is located and the parcel east of the existing village hall for $100,000 in August of 2008 from the Tom Eder estate.
At the time the village board purchased the lot, the village hall was located in the building that now exclusively houses the Elk Mound fire department.
During the August of 2008 meeting, a representative from Ayres Associates said an environmental assessment had revealed that the Eder site, one of the sites from which Eder Lime and Truck Service was operated, was not an environmental hazard.