Just a few weeks after the Mills Fleet Farm distribution center was approved, the city of Chippewa Falls and Chippewa County find themselves in the midst of another developer’s agreement for property in the Lake Wissota Business Park.
Huffcutt Concrete, currently at 4154 123rd St. in Chippewa Falls, is looking to expand with a property in the business park.
The Chippewa Falls City Council met in closed session Tuesday to discuss, according to its agenda, to look at: “potential tax increment financing incentives for Huffcutt Concrete, Inc., and Cray, Inc. for projects in Lake Wissota Business Park — TID #14 including all matters relative to procurement of a satisfactory developer’s agreement.”
Mayor Greg Hoffman said the discussions are moving forward quickly, and he’s pretty confident things will go as planned.
“We’re in the home stretch of negotiations,” Hoffman said. “There are a lot of moving pieces.”
One of those pieces is the size of the lots in the business park. Like Mills Fleet Farm, Huffcutt Concrete is asking for a larger lot than the business park allows.
Huffcutt is looking at 45 acres on the lot, and needs more outside storage space than the lot, southwest of Mills Fleet Farm, would allow under current zoning.
The plan commission approved a public hearing for the petition and application of rezoning three lots of the business park, tentatively for the May 16 council meeting, contingent on a developer’s agreement with Huffcutt.
“The industrial park was set up a certain way, and now we’re having to go back to make changes in how lots are going to look,” Hoffman said.
Though the negotiations are not finalized, Jayson Smith, city planner, said city officials wanted to get the public hearing on council’s radar so they can move forward as quickly as possible if the developer’s agreement is approved.
“If things do not come together by that time and we don’t have an agreement, council doesn’t have to act,” Smith said. “In the event we can get the agreement done, we have potential of breaking ground by early June. Otherwise we’ll end up in June before we get this done.”
Cray, Inc., still owns 28 acres of that land, but Smith said they are also aware of the rezoning potential.
Council also approved an industrial development revenue bond for $10 million for the Huffcutt project. Smith said the city is not liable for payment to these bonds nor responsible for monitoring them, and they do not count against the city’s borrowing capacity.
The financing is merely a way for Huffcutt to finance the project, which can’t exceed $20 million in the total cost, at a lower rate.
“Huffcutt would finance the other $10 million through other means,” Smith said.
Smith hopes to have a developer’s agreement, if all goes well, to the Council by May 2.