$48 million development plan moves forward - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

$48 million development plan moves forward

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Leaders in Stevens Point are moving forward with a $48 million project to develop the city's east side.

They want to attract a large industrial company to the area, but some residents say it's too big of a risk.

The plan would allow the city to move money from property taxes to this project. City officials hope it will bring in a big manufacturing company, or several businesses, to create jobs.

"This has the potential to bring a lot of jobs," said Stevens Point Community Development Director Michael Ostrowski.

The mayor and other city leaders are proposing the new $48 million project to develop an area near Crossroads Commons. It covers 800 acres and is private land.

If approved, the city would pay to slowly make improvements to roads and infrastructure there to try and attract businesses. That money would then be paid back through taxes once a company moves in.

"The city's intent is to spur additional development, create jobs that will have a definite impact on surrounding businesses in that area," said Ostrowski.

City leaders said the location and size of the land could attract a big company, but some people told the plan commission the city should focus on current development projects, not new ones.

"This pipe dream of all of this development coming, I don't see it," said one resident.

Another added, "I understand that we're only going to do this stuff as needed, supposedly. Well, that always gets to be a problem."

But ultimately, plan commission members approved the project.

The proposal will now go to the city's common council for approval. Ostrowski said the project would take place over 20 years. He hopes the council will vote on the issue by the end of the month.

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