Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - Plans to revitalize a local downtown took a step forward Monday night. The Chippewa Falls City Council voted to move ahead with plans to help a company relocate. Short Elliot Hendrickson (SEH), a company that focuses on engineering, among other things, would move from Hwy. 124 to the downtown area.
As we all know, first impressions matter. The city has been looking at how to improve the look of downtown, specifically, what people see when they first approach the area.
The city says it's been talking about this with SEH for the past four years, and now is the time to start moving forward. The city has TIF money it would use as an incentive for SEH to move downtown. The money is generated from an agreement the city has with the EOG Sand Plant, and it must be used to pay for improvements in the downtown area, or the Seymour Cray Boulevard area.
Right now, the building SEH is in, can handle about 65 employees. The new downtown building could handle up to 80. The city sees this as a way to bring more business to the downtown area.
Greg Hoffman, the Mayor of Chippewa Falls says, "We've got approximately three to four buildings who are in need of repair or are being torn down, and this building would kind of be a cornerstone to helping develop that whole area. So this is the beauty of having the TIF district, this is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity for a community to have a TIF this size and the funding available to put up amphitheaters, to put up parking ramps to revamp the whole downtown entryway."
The next step is for the city staff to work on a developer's agreement with SEH.
The city planner tells WQOW News 18 they will try to work on that aggressively and could have something for the board to look at as early as September.
The city says there are other projects that are being worked on for the downtown entrance plan, but nothing they can say yet.
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