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De Pere shifts funds to fix ice arena coil

By Lee Reinsch

DE PERE – The De Pere Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday, Nov. 5 to redirect unused funds from a cancelled park upgrade toward the cost of repairing a dehumidification system coil at the De Pere Ice Arena.

Those funds will contribute about $11,000 toward the approximately $20,000-$25,000 cost for the repair or replacement of the coil.

The rest of the money for the fix will come from unassigned city reserve funds.

De Pere City Administrator Larry Delo said the cost of the repair hasn’t been determined, because the city is still waiting for a third estimate.

At its October meeting, the De Pere Board of Park Commissioners voted to recommend the council approve the request to redirect the money.

Brown County Ice Management notified the city earlier this fall the dehumidification system coil had failed and would need to be replaced.

Alderman Jonathon Hansen asked if there were funds in the ice arena repair fund and was told there were not.

The canceled park project involved paving an entry area at Southwest Park, 2472 Lawrence Dr., on De Pere’s west side, and $16,000 had been set aside for that portion of the project.

However, after bids for pavement came in higher than anticipated, the parks department nixed the part of the plan calling for paving.

Director of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Marty Kosobucki said at the park board meeting it didn’t make sense to spend that much on pavement.

In October, the council voted to reallocate $5,000 of the $16,000 originally set aside for the Southwest Park paving toward general upkeep of the De Pere Riverwalk, including the repair of the bridge and bollards.

Irwin School delay OK’d

The council also voted to amend the development agreement of the historic Irwin School building and site, 428 N. Superior St., delaying the guaranteed total assessed value dates by a year.

The project will be assessed at $1.78 million as of Jan. 1, 2021 instead of Jan. 1, 2020, and at $5.07 million as of Jan. 1, 2022 instead of Jan. 1, 2021.

A representative of the developer, Milwaukee View, LLC, told the council the project has experienced delays caused by construction pricing and timing.

The representative said the groundbreaking is planned in the beginning of January.

The first phase will involve gutting the inside of the historic school, doing site work on the grounds and constructing six townhomes on the site.

The second phase of the project will involve building the second set of six townhomes, followed by finishing the renovation of the historic Irwin school itself into condos.

The city’s tax incremental finance district (TID) consultant, Baird, looked at the impact the new timeline would have on the performance of the TID.

Baird determined that the TID would “clear a cumulative end-of-life balance of $847,507,” according to the city.

“The TID is still going to be in a good place,” said Kim Flom, director of planning and economic development. “It’s going to be able to recover the expenditures and fund the project.”

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