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Monday, June 7, 2010

West Bend Mayor BREAKS TIE vote - Low Income Housing Coming to Downtown Area Despite Protest

On the City Council agenda for tonight was a decision regarding the Developer’s Agreement for River Bluff Townhomes. (TIF #5).

Seems Alderman Duquaine opened the can of worms and revealed that West Bend's RDA had a binding contract since 2009.  The formalities of listening to the local business owners and general public was nothing but smoke and mirrors.  

The scoop:

Real Estate Equities Development LLC of St. Paul, Minn. is set to sell federal tax credits offered through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority to raise capital for construction of the apartment buildings. 

    Because of that, Real Estate Equities will be required to hold its rental prices at a level affordable to families with annual incomes 50 percent to 60 percent of Washington County’s median figure, which is around $64,733, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. 
and this:

 At that time, Alderman Steve Hutchins, whose district includes Wisconsin Street, and Mayor Kristine Deiss said neighbors and businesses did not want a subsidized housing project downtown. 

    “They don’t want any WHEDA housing. ... They don’t want low-income, subsidized, affordable-living, whatever you want to call it,” Hutchins said at that April meeting. 
    “I think we can do better for our community than additional low-income housing and by utilizing local businesses to do so,” Hutchins has said, most recently on his Web site, www.wbdistrict2.com. 

When all was said and done, the vote was tied:



Mayor Kristine Deiss cast the deciding vote FOR the subsidized housing, stating that this was never a project that was kept hidden, and that everyone has had a voice in the matter, which is why we are able to go to the polls on election day.

Indeed, Mayor Deiss.  Indeed.

Hats off to Ald. Duquaine.

1 comment:

Richard R. Pieper, Sr. said...

Hats off to all of the city officials that voted "nay" - they obviously care about the future of West Bend.

Having WHEDA Housing in an area that has been positively progressing is a slap in the face to the people that care about their town.

For the Mayor to make the deciding vote to move ahead with this project warrants immediate removal of her from this position. She obviously doesn't care about the community and doesn't hear what her constituents are saying. Her blinders are on and all of this seems to be politically motivated.

Not too many positives can come out of a low-income housing project. If the building of this housing moves forward, you will see this city become a harbor for more crime, possible gang activity, and additional graffiti. We already have an issue with graffiti along the River Walk area and if this project is built, we can see this problem compounding. THERE IS NO BENEFIT!