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Caledonia is looking to develop 764 acres of land in the village, but in order to attract developers it needs to install the infrastructure needed to provide sewer and water — an estimated $16 million project.

But Village taxpayers could be on the hook to pay for some of the sewer and water projects if a developer doesn’t come along with a building project.

“Some of the design work (on the water and sewer project) is done, some still needs to be done,” said village board member Kevin Wanggaard. “But we want to get things in the ground asap. We want to have that infrastructure available to attract development in that corridor.”

The boundaries of the TIF district begin at the intersection of I-94 and County Highway K and moving in a clockwise direction would be generally bounded by County Highway K, the I-94 Frontage Rd., Adams Rd., Carol Rd., County Highway K, Sunflower Dr., County Highway V, the south village limit and I-94.

The TIF district project plan calls for the extension of sewer and water out to Interstate 94. Caledonia and Mount Pleasant are in discussions over how much Caledonia owes Mount Pleasant for the sewer connection fee.

“When those costs are finalized, they will be a cost of the TIF and will not impact property owners,” Village Administrator Mark aniuk said.

A TIF is a special growth tool communities can use to increase their tax bases by freezing property taxes at current rates. Any taxes generated by development over a specific amount of time – typically about 20 years – are used to pay back the monies borrowed to put in the necessary infrastructure like sewer, water and roads. Once the loans are paid in full, property taxes from the new business tenants turn to the municipal budget and other taxing bodies like Racine Unified, the county and Gateway.

The sewer and water project is to be completed in two phases. Phase I includes putting in a pump station on Highway V and Highway K, which will pump to Mount Pleasant down Highway 20. The water lines will also be installed along the same path.

According to village officials, the area has had the most inquiries from developers. That portion of the project carries an estimated price tag of $7.5 million, which would be paid by the TIF if a developer comes along. However, if one does not come along, the cost to taxpayers is estimated at 50 cents per $1,000 in assessed value.

Still, Wanggaard said that the exact number for the project has not been set as the cost depends on how far out the water and sewer lines would go.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.