Town Electorate Approves the Purchase of Land

At a duly noticed Special Town Meeting of the Qualified Electorate, held on November 28, 2022 at 200 Railroad Street, qualified residents of the Town authorized, by resolution, for the Town to purchase public lands located at W6599 State Highway 39 and to borrow up to $1,400,000, also by resolution.  

The Town has adequate reserves to pay interest only for the first four years of the promissory note issued by the Bank of New Glarus until $1.9 million in existing General Obligation debt is paid in full on or by December 31, 2027.  The interest on the loan is 4.5%.  After 2027, payments will increase.  Any remaining balance at the end of the 10-year term will be paid in full as a balloon payment or the loan will be restructured.  This approach will not increase the allowable tax levy for Town residents.

Immediate plans are to survey the property and conduct a Phase 1 Environmental Study.  An appraisal will be conducted in order to qualify for State and/or Federal grant money for the recreational use portion of the land.  This could offset the cost of that portion of land by up to 50%.  A Letter of Retroactivity has been issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to allow the Town to apply for the grant dollars after the land has been purchased.  The closing is scheduled for December 21, 2022.  Applications for Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funds are due by May 1, 2023.

Ultimately, the Town hopes to prepare a small portion of the site for a future public works facility to replace the one on Railroad Street.  The existing farm house and outbuildings, if the electorate authorizes the Town to do so, will be sold to fund this site preparation and offset part of the building costs for a new Town garage.