Posted 1/25/22

From Page 1 employees. “He’s all about collaboration,” Beissel said. “He’s reaching to the to the school district program … He really feels like this is the future of food.” Having a …

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“He’s all about collaboration,” Beissel said. “He’s reaching to the to the school district program … He really feels like this is the future of food.”

Having a local, sustainable source of produce would reduce the amount of food that has to be trucked in. Beissel added that Carman is a Duluth- based architect by trade wo “is very passionate about making food more local.”

While nothing is set in stone yet, another unique feature could be a drive-through pick-up option for fresh produce, Beissel said.

More details will be forthcoming as the application moves to the Planning Commission.

Other projects

The CDA and developer Paul Gerrard are waiting to hear back from the Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) for an Innovative Housing Set Aside application in regards to a development project proposed for Crossing Meadows.

Gerrard is proposing to build 50 single-story townhouses with attached garages, located on property at the dead end of Alexander Boulevard in Crossing Meadows. The new development would be integrated within an existing neighborhood, help revitalize a distressed TID (which includes the vacant Shopko building), and help alleviate the need for affordable housing in the community.

Gerrard said at a September Ellsworth Village Board meeting that the units’ rent would include utilities and snow removal. Other projects Gerrard has completed recently include 1300 S. Main St. and The Depot in River Falls.

The CDA has also reached out to the owners of the former Ellsworth Junior High School, located at 254 S. Chestnut St., to find out the future of that property, which is also considered blighted. CDA Chair Scott Feuerhelm said he was “hopeful right out of the gate” in October when the CDA first contacted the owners, but now they are not responding. Beissel said the village “has been ghosted.”

“I don’t see them engaging that way,” she said.

The next step in the process will include the police department, building inspector and assessor determining if any violations are occurring. Then the village will send a letter to the property owners.

Pierce County Economic Development Director Joe Folsom said there may be Community Development Block Grants available for this property and the property located at 245 N. Broadway Ave., which are both considered blighted. The CDBG grants would be used for redevelopment purposes.

Feuerhelm said Cedar Corporation has offered its assistance in removing asbestos from the former Amman & Associates building at 245 N. Broadway after an environmental evaluation is performed. It was recently discovered that the building’s roof is sinking in. If the village performs the work to raze the building, the cost would be assessed back to the building’s owner, Greg Amann.

Folsom said it would be nice to combine both the Broadway and Chestnut properties together in a grant application. He also suggested the village consider using some of its American Rescue Plan Act funds for the local contribution requirement when applying for CDBG grants. The village is set to receive $173,000 this year and next, said Administrator-Clerk/Treasurer Nicole Stewart.

“The question is, do you have a willing property owner in that case?” Folsom asked about the old junior high.