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La Grandeur expansion funding approved

The La Grandeur Road expansion project and funding were given the green light at the Somerset Village Board meeting Tuesday, July 15, to the tune of $1.095 million.

Bids opened June 20 for the project, which will expand La Grandeur Road northward through the industrial park to intersect 190th Avenue. The board unanimously voted to award the contract to Albrightson Excavating of Woodville, with a price tag of $1,095,393.11. The board also passed a resolution regarding the funding of the project.

The expanded La Grandeur corridor is key to expanding the industrial park and accessing more land to the north, board members agreed.

“That land that we spent all that money on (to the north), we can’t use it until we can access it,” Trustee Greg Sayers said.

The funding for the project will technically come from Tax Increment District 2 (TID 2), but the village voted to borrow from the village bridge fund to supplement the project. Money generated from TID 2 will be used to pay back the bridge fund, with a similar interest rate to that of a State Trust Fund loan (no lower than 3.5 percent), Trustee and finance committee chairman Ryan Sicard said.

According to Sicard, TID 2 is valued at approximately $23 million, and generates roughly $600,000 per year for payment on projects, such as the purchase of land comprising TID 4, the Shay Street Lift Station, the Laser Drive reconstruction, the La Grandeur Road expansion and others. Those projects should be paid in full from money generated by TID 2 by the year 2024.

“For the next five to six years, there will be a cash flow shortage to cover repayment of bonds on TID 2 projects,” Sicard said. “It is estimated $200,000 will be borrowed from the bridge fund annually during the years of the cash flow shortage at a similar interest rate to a State Trust Fund loan, but will be repaid within seven years.”

The cash flow shortage is in part due to the state mislabeling parcels that were then not included in TID 2, Sicard said.

Engineer Rob Jones of Cedar Corporation said a water main will be added along the southern boulevard of 190th Avenue. He estimated 200 feet of 190th would have to be rebuilt, which will cause a traffic disruption of about two weeks. Plans included leaving room to eventually add turn lanes on La Grandeur and having traffic stop on 190th., making La Grandeur the main corridor. Construction should begin in the next few weeks, Jones said.

Sarah Young

Sarah Young was appointed the editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, where she covered community events, spot news and education in Hammond, Roberts, Somerset and St. Croix County Circuit Court. Previously she free-lanced for the River Falls Journal, Hudson Star-Observer, RiverTown special publications and the Superior Catholic Herald. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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