Mount Pleasant trustees Wednesday night approved 5-2 a funding and assessment plan for the sewer and water project on Highway V.
In short, the village will bond for the project, and residents have the option of paying part of their assessment in six months and have the rest deferred for 20 years with another 10 years to pay it off. During the 20-year deferment the village will pay the interest on the funds, and interest as it accumulates during the 10-year payment period will be frozen at today’s rates.
President Jerry Garski and Trustee Gary Feest voted against the plan. After the meeting, Feest admitted he wasn’t sure of the exact details of the approved funding because of how much back-and-forth discussion there was.
“I’m waiting for the resolution to be typed up and distributed so I can understand exactly what just happened,” he said.
An audience of about 50 residents gathered at Village Hall for the meeting that lasted just about 2-1/2 hours, including a 50-minute closed session that at least one resident felt violated the state’s open meetings law.
When trustees went back into closed session, board member Rick McCluskey outlined six ideas for how to fund the project, one of which was an amalgamation of the proposed assessment schedule and a resident’s idea that Highway V property owners pay one-third to a one-half the amount and the village bond for the rest.
Trustee David DeGroot supports the project and reaffirmed the coming commercial development “will make (the residents) millionaires” and that no one is going to lose their home.
“Our proposal is extraordinarily generous,” he said, referring to the decades-long deferment and repayment plan.
Reaction from residents ranged from outright anger to disappointment to resignation.
Racine County Eye contributor Rees Roberts will have the recording from the entire meeting posted.