The discussion for the Village of SV Red Fox Development brought about a lot of heated discussion prior to the vote to move forward on the project. Photo by Paul J. Seeling
The discussion for the Village of SV Red Fox Development brought about a lot of heated discussion prior to the vote to move forward on the project. Photo by Paul J. Seeling

SPRING VALLEY, WI – The Village of Spring Valley held a Public Hearing on their proposed Red Fox Development subdivision project prior to their April Board meeting on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at the Village Hall. The Hearing drew a full crowd with every seat filled in the Board Room.

The proposal to purchase the land, have it surveyed into lots and pay for the sewer, water, curb and gutter to then resell the lots to interested builders has been in the works for quite some time and openly discussed at several of the previous Village Board meetings. But now that all of the preliminary work has been accomplished and it was time to vote on the final commitment for the project, many members of the Village came forward at this meeting to ask questions and voice their concerns about the various potential financial risks to the taxpayers.

Originally the project was to include 20 single-family lots, but that has been revised now to be 16 lots.

One of the first questions asked was how much would the lots be selling for?  The board responded that they would be priced from $20,000 to $40,000 with 20 to $25,000 being the average cost. This has been in light of other surrounding communities and their current prices for single-family lots

There were skeptics in the crowd that the Village would be successful selling them at that price.

Trustee Matt Huepful who is a proponent of the project said, “The Village must grow or it will die.”

Village resident Reese Keehr commented, “This seems to be a high-risk project. Previous developers went bankrupt.” And he asked, “Do you have any presales on the lots?”

Trustee Huepful responded, “No, not yet, as the process wasn’t in place to do that yet. We are not putting the Village at high-risk and we are getting a new water well along with the project.” He continued, historically every Village project has been too much risk, but we have come out fine. We have to be progressive.”

Trustee Rich O’Connell said, “We did agree at the February 23 meeting to make the land purchase if the Village feels it can break even.”

Keehr stated, “I think you are being overly optimistic.”

Village President Marsha Brunkhorst said, “We believe we can recoup our costs.”

Trustee Huepful said, “two or three lots sold a year would pay for the project.”

President Brunkhorst said, “In the Industrial Park we spent $100,000 before there was any payback, by way of comparison.”

Rita Governoski commented that, “A lot of retirement age people will have needs for homes to downsize to.”

President Brunkhorst stated, “A risk? Yes, but a risk worth taking to increase our tax base.”

Trustee Andy Vorlicek said, “Look at the costs we have had with the old nursing home, but with the Spring Valley Dental Office it has turned out to be a plus.”

The discussion continued for almost the full hour allotted for the hearing with questions raised and answered; still there were skeptics such as Jon Tanberg and Reese Keehr who did get to express their opinions on the project and Keehr said before leaving for the regularly scheduled Wednesday night card game, “I hope it goes better than I think it will.”

The regular Board meeting for April was called to order and all trustees and the President were present to follow the agenda as listed.

With it there were two votes to essentially proceed on the Red Fox Development both having the same counts of: Docklow, Huepful, Brunkhorst, Falde, Jacobson and Vorlicek in favor and O’Connell against. The motions passed.

The next regular meeting will be on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.