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Wausau council members to meet twice Tuesday


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- Two full meetings and two agendas for members of Wausau’s City Council Tuesday. First, a Committee of the Whole meeting at 5:30, and then the regular meeting at 7:00 o’clock.

Mayor Jim Tipple says the Committee of the Whole meeting will cover several topics related to TIF district number three, which includes the riverfront and the Thomas Street area.  “We had a presentation on the TIF 3, some of the improvements and everything, so we’re going to kind of go over the timetable and kind of bring them up to speed again, bring them up to speed on the transportation study, the WEDC grant which is the million dollar grant we received, and I think they want to review that because there are some deadlines that have to be met and they’ve asked to review the tax increment district number three financial overview.”

The city has now received two separate legal opinions about the Thomas Street project, one ordered by city attorney Anne Jacobsen and the other by Finance Director MaryAnne Groat. Mayor Tipple says the two legal opinions the city received did not give opposing results.   “I believe one opinion was, that if there was any significant changes, they needed to define ‘blight’ and so on and so forth, and the other opinion indicated that infrastructure improvements were OK in a TIF, and we’re eligible expenses, and so one just went a little more in-depth than the other one did.”

The Thomas Street redevelopment project has been plagued by problems, including a state ruling saying the city improperly acquired certain properties which made it ineligible for certain government funding. Many residents would like to know what the future holds for Thomas Street. Tipple says they will try to cover many of those issues Tuesday.  “There’s a table that they’re going to be given, and it will have certain milestones in there. One obviously leads to the other, and so I think people want to know about that, and there will be obviously a technical overview, and also just bring everybody up to speed of what’s happening and what’s coming up so if anybody has problems or concerns, this is the time to let those be known.”

Several council members have questions about the funding and planning in TIF 3.