The Wisconsin Dells Public Works Committee did not reach a decision on the creation of a new parcel of land on a private citizen’s property, citing that further research was necessary before going forward with any further assessments.
Jason Hallowell, who owns property on Cole Lane in Adams County, is trying to sell the land to potential homeowners, since the five acres is mostly empty at the moment. He wanted to get the site developed and utilized.
According to Hallowell, his proposal was in the interest of the market, since he wanted to get the site on a well and a septic tank as soon as possible, rather than connecting it to city utilities.
“The people that would potentially approach me about buying the five acres are trying to weigh the cost/benefit of having a new house there, as opposed to outside the city limits,” Hallowell said. “If they’re going to spend, say 18,000 on a well and septic, and the city comes in after they’ve been paying 700 a month in property tax for five years. The city comes in and goes ‘well, there’s a sanitary sewer and a road,’ are they going to get specially assessed that back?”
Hallowell said that such a condition would drive off potential buyers, since it doesn’t make financial sense for them to build a new house there. According to him, he wouldn’t divide the property in that case, and it would stay an undeveloped portion of his property.
The committee did not deny Hallowell’s proposal; the position it took was that the timeframe needs to be expanded in order to properly assess the site’s viability. According to public works director David Holzem, the department is not prepared to make a decision on the required assessments yet.
“Until we know exactly what is going on out there, and how you specially assess it back, it’s a little difficult to get that answer,” Holzem said. “I don’t think it’s uncommon to start out with ‘Can I put private systems on there?’”
Holzem clarified at the end of the meeting that the committee did not deny Hallowell’s proposal, it just needed time to look into the property.
In other business, the committee discussed the potential for a new plaza on Elm Street. Feelings were varied across the room, but Holzem’s opinion was that it was not necessarily in the city’s best interest to commit to building a plaza over the sewer main located under the proposed building site.
“From a public works perspective, we don’t really want people building on top of any of our underground utilities,” Holzem said. “It’s a pretty big deal to be buried under something.”
The committee also heard updates on the Superior Street construction project and the high school project. According to Holzem, both are proceeding according to schedule.