How Ellsworth’s Community Development Authority Committee plans to boost local economy

4 Oct 2019

ELLSWORTH -- Ellsworth’s Community Development Authority Committee had its first official meeting Wednesday, Oct. 2. Members discussed how they were going to organize, fill a vacant committee seat and possible projects to start. They also went over the village’s comprehensive plan and discussed project funding sources.

The CDA committee was created by a village resolution in early March. The committee’s mission is to improve the village’s economic well-being. According to the resolution, the committee will create programs and identify projects to eliminate and prevent blight and encourage urban renewal and redevelopment. These projects will include community development projects and housing projects.

Joe Folsom, Pierce County Economic Development Corporation’s executive director, attended to answer questions about the types of projects that could be completed and potential funding.

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“Virtually all the projects you do, need to somehow tie in the village’s comprehensive planning,” Folsom said.

He previously attended a special board meeting with the village attorney Robert Loberg and the CDA committee on Sept. 12 where the legal aspects of the CDA and how the CDA operates was discussed.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Folsom mentioned that the village’s comprehensive plan does not have examples of specific projects, but rather can be used as a guideline. He also brought in copies of Design Ellsworth as examples of potential projects the committee could take on.

Funding for the CDA’s projects can come from various sources. According to Chairperson Curt Wandmacher, the village did budget $1,000 for the committee, but actual projects can be funded by grants.

“It all depends on what the project is, if it’s really something that involves the village or if it’s something that we just need to get some funds from other sources,” Wandmacher said during a phone call with the Republican Eagle.

At the meeting members picked the committee’s officers with Wandmacher serving as the chairperson, Scott Feuerhelm the vice-chairperson, Greg Place the treasurer and Peggy Nelson — the village clerk — as the committee’s executive director.

Village Board President Gerald DeWolfe is working on getting someone to fill a vacant citizen seat. The position will be filled by an Ellsworth resident who is involved in the community or wants to become involved.

The committee’s powers subject to the Village Board’s review according to the bylaws include:

Acquisition of any real or personal property by lease, eminent domain or otherwise

Borrowing of money and issuance of bonds, execution of notes, debentures and other forms of indebtedness

Employment of personnel

Expenditures of any funds

Performance of duties otherwise performed by the plan Commission pursuant to Wisconsin Statute Sec 66.1105.

The committee will meet again 5 p.m. Oct. 21 to start getting project ideas together.

“We need to start making this a top priority,” committee member Roxy Birkel said.

Original Story.