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City of Antigo Approves Steps Towards Latest Downtown Revitalization Project

April 14, 2011

by Rusty Mehlberg

WACD Country 106.1 FM

The City of Antigo has taken the first step towards their latest downtown revitalization project. The city's council, meeting as a Committee of the Whole Wednesday evening, voted six to three to take the necessary steps to complete the project.

The most important step would focus on a new 10,000 square foot office building to be built where the current Musloff building is at the northeast corner of Superior Street and Sixth Avenue. According to building developer Bill Sauve, the location will be the new home for Wittenberg Wireless, with interest from outside businesses and professionals moving in to it as well.

As part of the project, Sauve is asking for city assistance for several factors in the $1.5-million project through a developers agreement. Factors in the agreement the city would comply to include demolish the current structure and prep the site for construction, try to purchase a portion of the Heinzen property next to Spring Brook to assist with office parking, assist with 30-percent of the project's overall cost, and continue to develop the Peaceful Valley area to the east.

The Peaceful Valley portion of the overall city revitalization project would be to remove several buildings on Fifth Avenue where Spring Brook flows under for beautification purposes, along with developing the 600 block of Sixth Avenue for a town square and parking spaces.

The cost of the city's involvement in all this would be over $1.2-million. However, City Administrator Dale Soumis said at the meeting that with current work done in the area, plus the high possibility of the city receiving a Community Development Block Grant from the state, the remaining cost on the project is under $500,000, which would most likely be covered by the city's TIF 4 district.

Soumis, along with the six council members who approve of the project, said it is a good step towards the citys overall goal to improve the downtown area. Council members Kapusta, Cahak and Turnbull votes against the project, with Turnbull being the most vocal due to the way the project was presented to her and questioned if the city should be getting financially involved in the proposed way with the office building.

With the committee's approval, city attorney Mike Winter will work on the official developer's agreement and have it ready for council approval in the next several weeks.

by Rusty Mehlberg

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