ARPA Funds Could Pay for Apartment Sewer and Water Extension

Developers of a three-story, 22-unit apartment building proposed on the site of a former cherry-processing facility are seeking financial assistance from the City of Sturgeon Bay to extend sanitary sewer and water service to the property. The apartments would be located at 1361 N. 14th Ave., near Tadych’s Marketplace and Walmart.

The city’s Financing/Purchasing and Building Committee recommended Oct. 25 that Estes Investments receive an incentive package for the apartment project with the following conditions:

  • Estes would be responsible for the design of the sewer/water extensions.
  • The city and Sturgeon Bay Utilities would seek approval for the extensions through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
  • Estes would bid and contract for the construction of the mains, subject to city approval of the final bid amount.
  • Estes would construct the apartment building after receiving all necessary zoning approvals and building permits.
  • Upon issuance of an occupancy permit for the apartment building, the city would reimburse Estes for the installation costs of the sanitary sewer and water mains.

Community development director Marty Olejniczak said the estimated cost of the utility extensions is $163,000, for which the city has available American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that could be used to pay for them.

“The ARPA funds could cover some or all of the expense,” he said. “In addition, the sewer and water mains will extend past the property at 1341 N. 14th Ave. The city could specially assess that parcel for a share of the cost.”

Olejniczak said Estes sought financial assistance because the cost of constructing the building – estimated at $3.5 million – and the added cost of extending sanitary sewer and water lines to the property made the project economically unfeasible.

Even if the city would cover the entire cost of the utility extensions, he said the amount of per-unit assistance for the project of around $7,400 would be lower than what the city recently approved for apartment projects involving Duquaine Development, PRE/3 and S.C. Swiderski.

Based on a future assessed value of $2.2 million, the apartment building would generate $17,500 annually for the city’s portion of the property taxes, Olejniczak said.

The apartment building would be located on the east side of the property, with 12 storage buildings planned for the west side.

The city’s plan commission recommended Oct. 19 that the property’s east side, with 32,344 square feet, be rezoned from Agricultural (A) to Multiple-Family Residential (R-4), with conditions that the property be cleaned up no later than when the Common Council would approve the second reading of the rezoning ordinance.

Those conditions, which were added in response to concerns expressed by neighbors about debris piles on the site and the potential for flooding, include:

  • The retaining wall/retention on the north side of the property shall be completed.
  • The existing debris shall be removed from the drainage swale.
  • The drainage swale shall be located closer to the west property line, consistent with the approved stormwater management/grading plan.

The first reading of the rezoning ordinance was on the council’s Nov. 1 agenda.

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