Stoughton council opts against reconsideration of new TIF distri - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Stoughton council opts against reconsideration of new TIF district

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STOUGHTON, Wisconsin (WKOW) -- The Stoughton City Council voted against re-considering part of the proposal to build a new retail development near the corner of Highways 51 and 38 Tuesday night.

The shopping center, if built, would feature several retail stores anchored by a Walmart.

The council Tuesday heard public comments regarding a proposed tax incremental finance, or TIF, agreement between the project's developer and the city.

The agreement had previously been approved. The wording has been finalized and the deal has been signed by both the developer and the city's representatives.

Tuesday night, following public comments, the council voted against re-considering the new TIF proposal.

The TIF would translate to about $5-million in infrastructure improvements in the area of the proposed retail center. The total cost, with interest, would be roughly $6.6-million.

Some in Stoughton say they don't want the city providing money to help subsidize the project.

Roger Springman, speaking before the council, said if the shopping center fails taxpayers will get stuck footing the bill.

"TIFs based on retail development are riskier than a lot of other kinds of TIFs simply because the retail sector is very volatile," Springman said. "About 50 percent of stores are not here in five years."

Others who spoke in opposition to the proposal said they did not agree with Walmart being the focal point of the retail center. They said the low-paying jobs the new store would provide would not translate to more money being poured into the local economy,

The mayor said the city is not allowed to discriminate based on which retailers a developer plans on bringing onto a plot of land once its approved for development.

Others spoke in support of the proposal and the TIF district.

"Stoughton needs jobs," said Bill Mansfield. "If more jobs are available locally, the chances of people staying here, or even moving here, increase dramatically."

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