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With some dissent, city advances major project
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On a split vote—and after Mayor Bill Brandt rebuffed attempts to table the issue— the Antigo Common Council Wednesday advanced plans for a new 40-unit apartment complex on the city’s northwest side.

The apartments will be rented at market rates, Mayor Bill Brandt stressed.

This is not subsidized housing, this is not low-income housing, Brandt said. In fact, this will be some of the nicer housing of this type in the city.

The vote came at a busy June session of the governing body, which also briefly discussed the now-defunct weather sirens; and reviewed a brief audit report.

Swiderski complex

The decision to accept an offer from S.C. Swiderski to purchase 8.25 acres of city-owned property located at the corner of North Hogan Street and Pierce Avenue came on an official 6-2 vote, but could have actually been a closer 5-3 margin.

Sandy Fischer abstained from voting while Tim Kassis and Carol Feller Gottard cast dissenting ballots. Clerk-Treasurer Kaye Matucheski said that abstentions were not allowed on the issue, recording Fischer’s vote as a yes.

I didn’t know that, Fischer, newly-elected in April, said. Otherwise I would have voted no.

The decision also came after attempts by Fischer, Kassis, Gottard and Glenn Bugni to table the issue or return it to committee for further study. Bugni said he wanted more time, after county officials raised some concerns about the project and possible stresses on available services.

The motion to table drew a four-four vote, which was broken by Brandt.

We will move forward on this tonight, Brandt said.

Swiderski will pay $41,250, or $5,000 per acre, for the site, which is located on the west side of Hogan Street immediately south of Pierce Avenue and north of Remington Lake. The developer said the corner lot will provide visibility from Highway 64, along with proximity to Remington Lake and a future walking trail.

The land will be used for phase 2 of the developer’s apartment plans in the city. Phase 1—88 units on Prosser Avenue and Charlotte Court—is about two-thirds occupied, the point when Swiderski wanted to start the new endeavor.

Brandt stressed that the second phase was included when the city initially approved Swiderski’s project, so it does not fall under a moratorium on new apartment construction. That limit had been adopted after a spate of new complexes, many of them tailored to low-income residents, were built.

We approved phase 1 with the understanding phase 2 would go through, Brandt said, stressing the moratorium is still in place. This, as a council, is something we made a commitment to.

Kassis disagreed.

I’m a little concerned we’re saturated with units right now, he said.

But Tom Bauknecht said a deal is a deal.

We don’t want to discourage development, he said. The city’s credibility is at stake.

Swiderski officials, in a presentation to the city, said they plan to target the two and three-bedroom units, all with attached garages, to renters by choice including empty-nester households and millenials along with working professionals and gray collar families such as police and firefighters, teachers and technical workers.

The complex will contain five, eight-unit buildings with a total of 30 two-bedroom and 10 three-bedroom apartments. All will have one or two-car attached garages. All will have private and garage entrances, balconies or patios and a variety of amenities.

The next step will be rezoning the parcel from industrial to multi-family use. It is currently leased for farmland.

Weather sirens, streets

In a matter not on the agenda, but a topic of discussion following weekend storms, aldermen reviewed their decision in late 2014 to decommission the city’s weather warning sirens in favor of electronic contracts through land lines and cellular telephones.

Some people in the community have expressed their disappointment in the system, stating they did not receive timely warnings when the city was placed under a tornado warning on Sunday.

Brandt said the city received no complaint calls and said the way the National Weather Service structured the warning left some residents in the south and east parts of the city not in the affected areas.

They were not within the tornado warning zone, Brandt said.

Bugni said that he understood people had concerns, but said the city brought the issue up in summer and fall last year and few residents contacted aldermen or attended meetings.

If sirens are a concern, contact your alderman, he urged residents. We can bring them back if there is enough interest.

Bugni also brought up concerns over the deteriorating condition of city streets.

Antigo is becoming a big bump, and it is becoming an issue, Bugni said.

We’re trying to take it a bite at a time, Brandt said.

Audit results

Moments before adjournment, Dave Maccoux of Schenck Government & Not-For-Profit Solutions arrived to review the city’s 2016 financial statement.

He noted that the city has $71 million in assets and $16 million in liabilities, mainly long-term debt, for a total; net of $53 million.

That is a very strong position going forward, Maccoux said.

Maccoux said the audit presented no real concerns and from a budget perspective, the city is very strong moving forward.

Officials warned that even with those good balance sheets, the city may be looking at increases in water and sewer rates over the next months to cover a few larger projects on the horizon.

Other business

Aldermen also:

—refined the ordinance on junk vehicles and appliances, including abandonment and impoundment by the city.

—renewed mobile home camp licenses for St. Charles Place MHC and Forrest Avenue Mobile Home Park.

—transfered the various licenses for Smitty’s to Keith Diers from Marlena Schisel.

—updated the Spring Brook revitalization plan to include an urban sediment loading analysis and a rehabilitation study from the Fourth Avenue dam to the Seventh Avenue bridge.

—and upgraded the office furniture for clerical staff in the Police Department to include an adjustable work height desk and additional storage.
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NEW APARTMENTS—The drawing and photos, provided by S.C. Swiderski, show the site plan for its new 40-unit apartment complex on the city’s northeast side, along with exterior views of some similar units it has built elsewhere. The apartments are of a higher-end variety and will rent at market rates, city officials stressed. They will be not be subsidized housing.

With some dissent, city advances major project
space
On a split vote—and after Mayor Bill Brandt rebuffed attempts to table the issue— the Antigo Common Council Wednesday advanced plans for a new 40-unit apartment complex on the city’s northwest side.

The apartments will be rented at market rates, Mayor Bill Brandt stressed.

This is not subsidized housing, this is not low-income housing, Brandt said. In fact, this will be some of the nicer housing of this type in the city.

The vote came at a busy June session of the governing body, which also briefly discussed the now-defunct weather sirens; and reviewed a brief audit report.

Swiderski complex

The decision to accept an offer from S.C. Swiderski to purchase 8.25 acres of city-owned property located at the corner of North Hogan Street and Pierce Avenue came on an official 6-2 vote, but could have actually been a closer 5-3 margin.

Sandy Fischer abstained from voting while Tim Kassis and Carol Feller Gottard cast dissenting ballots. Clerk-Treasurer Kaye Matucheski said that abstentions were not allowed on the issue, recording Fischer’s vote as a yes.

I didn’t know that, Fischer, newly-elected in April, said. Otherwise I would have voted no.

The decision also came after attempts by Fischer, Kassis, Gottard and Glenn Bugni to table the issue or return it to committee for further study. Bugni said he wanted more time, after county officials raised some concerns about the project and possible stresses on available services.

The motion to table drew a four-four vote, which was broken by Brandt.

We will move forward on this tonight, Brandt said.

Swiderski will pay $41,250, or $5,000 per acre, for the site, which is located on the west side of Hogan Street immediately south of Pierce Avenue and north of Remington Lake. The developer said the corner lot will provide visibility from Highway 64, along with proximity to Remington Lake and a future walking trail.

The land will be used for phase 2 of the developer’s apartment plans in the city. Phase 1—88 units on Prosser Avenue and Charlotte Court—is about two-thirds occupied, the point when Swiderski wanted to start the new endeavor.

Brandt stressed that the second phase was included when the city initially approved Swiderski’s project, so it does not fall under a moratorium on new apartment construction. That limit had been adopted after a spate of new complexes, many of them tailored to low-income residents, were built.

We approved phase 1 with the understanding phase 2 would go through, Brandt said, stressing the moratorium is still in place. This, as a council, is something we made a commitment to.

Kassis disagreed.

I’m a little concerned we’re saturated with units right now, he said.

But Tom Bauknecht said a deal is a deal.

We don’t want to discourage development, he said. The city’s credibility is at stake.

Swiderski officials, in a presentation to the city, said they plan to target the two and three-bedroom units, all with attached garages, to renters by choice including empty-nester households and millenials along with working professionals and gray collar families such as police and firefighters, teachers and technical workers.

The complex will contain five, eight-unit buildings with a total of 30 two-bedroom and 10 three-bedroom apartments. All will have one or two-car attached garages. All will have private and garage entrances, balconies or patios and a variety of amenities.

The next step will be rezoning the parcel from industrial to multi-family use. It is currently leased for farmland.

Weather sirens, streets

In a matter not on the agenda, but a topic of discussion following weekend storms, aldermen reviewed their decision in late 2014 to decommission the city’s weather warning sirens in favor of electronic contracts through land lines and cellular telephones.

Some people in the community have expressed their disappointment in the system, stating they did not receive timely warnings when the city was placed under a tornado warning on Sunday.

Brandt said the city received no complaint calls and said the way the National Weather Service structured the warning left some residents in the south and east parts of the city not in the affected areas.

They were not within the tornado warning zone, Brandt said.

Bugni said that he understood people had concerns, but said the city brought the issue up in summer and fall last year and few residents contacted aldermen or attended meetings.

If sirens are a concern, contact your alderman, he urged residents. We can bring them back if there is enough interest.

Bugni also brought up concerns over the deteriorating condition of city streets.

Antigo is becoming a big bump, and it is becoming an issue, Bugni said.

We’re trying to take it a bite at a time, Brandt said.

Audit results

Moments before adjournment, Dave Maccoux of Schenck Government & Not-For-Profit Solutions arrived to review the city’s 2016 financial statement.

He noted that the city has $71 million in assets and $16 million in liabilities, mainly long-term debt, for a total; net of $53 million.

That is a very strong position going forward, Maccoux said.

Maccoux said the audit presented no real concerns and from a budget perspective, the city is very strong moving forward.

Officials warned that even with those good balance sheets, the city may be looking at increases in water and sewer rates over the next months to cover a few larger projects on the horizon.

Other business

Aldermen also:

—refined the ordinance on junk vehicles and appliances, including abandonment and impoundment by the city.

—renewed mobile home camp licenses for St. Charles Place MHC and Forrest Avenue Mobile Home Park.

—transfered the various licenses for Smitty’s to Keith Diers from Marlena Schisel.

—updated the Spring Brook revitalization plan to include an urban sediment loading analysis and a rehabilitation study from the Fourth Avenue dam to the Seventh Avenue bridge.

—and upgraded the office furniture for clerical staff in the Police Department to include an adjustable work height desk and additional storage.
space

NEW APARTMENTS—The drawing and photos, provided by S.C. Swiderski, show the site plan for its new 40-unit apartment complex on the city’s northeast side, along with exterior views of some similar units it has built elsewhere. The apartments are of a higher-end variety and will rent at market rates, city officials stressed. They will be not be subsidized housing.
2017
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