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Vickery Village improvements discussed

By Ben Rodgers

SUAMICO – The Suamico village board agreed to some improvements for Vickery Village, partially on the village’s dime, at its Monday, Feb. 4 meeting.

Jon Henry, a major stakeholder in the Vickery Village development, also known as Tax Incremental Financing District No. 2, wanted to plant a buffer of trees in the area.

The proposal calls for planting 30 cedar trees between Henry’s Vickery Village properties and the municipal parking lot with an estimated cost of $4,800.

Henry requested the village to pick up the bill through the TIF No. 2 budget.

“What we’re doing at Vickery Village, it’s not just for paid events, we’re also doing a lot of community programs,” Henry said. “You all know about Tuesday Tunes. That’s grown in popularity. I’m really looking to make Vickery Village a place for the community.”

Henry’s parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were instrumental in the start of Vickery Village.

He said now it’s in his best interests to keep the development alive and flourishing.

“This village Suamico, and Vickery Village just has a lot of importance to me,” Henry said. “It’s my family heritage and it’s really my main motivation, for me and my wife Annette, for taking over and hopefully taking Vickery Village to a new future.”

Henry said his plans include holding more events at Vickery Village, like weddings.

Jessica Legois, director of administrative services, said TIF No. 2 ended 2018 with a deficit balance of $22,000. She said the TIF is expected to recover by 2021.

The TIF also has $60,000 budgeted for a new kayak launch and $10,000 is left over from the 2018 budget, which could be carried over.

“It’s a judgment call whether (the tree buffer is) TIF or not,” said Steve Kubacki, village administrator. “Could it be a logical project in the TIF? Sure it could, but that’s your call as the village board. We’ve done certain things there. We put in the parking lot. We put in the path to lead to Vickery Village. We put in lighting. I guess the question is do you want to put some dollars in here?”

Dan Roddan

Trustee Dan Roddan said the area has other needs related to infrastructure and the road.

Trustee Sky Van Rossum said a tree buffer could be the thing that keeps a couple from booking a wedding there, and the area could lose out on business because of it.

“In a way when I see $4,800 and I think about this buffer – it could be easily conceived of that it would benefit the Vickery property,” he said.

Trustee Jason Ward proposed a split with some of the funds coming from the TIF and the others from Henry.

Trustee Mike Schneider agreed.

“I could easily see going for a percentage of it, helping out that way,” Schneider said. “If we’re to do this, there could be ramifications later of ‘Well you gave him trees and it looks nice for him.’”

In the end, the board agreed to a 50/50 split with Roddan casting the lone opposing vote.

The village board also approved the installation of three signs in concept for Vickery Village, pending a final quote, which was not received prior to Monday’s meeting.

Two of the signs would be located in parking lots the village built located in Vickery Village and a third would be at the intersection of Velp Avenue and Riverside Drive.

Some slight sign design revisions are being done to address the needs of Vickery Village and historic downtown Suamico businesses and stakeholders.

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