Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The city withdrew its application for $300,000 in grant money after the DNR refused to waive a requirement regarding hunting and trapping.
Oak Creek's progress on redeveloping its lakefront was dealt a setback after the state Department of Natural Resources declined to award a $300,000 grant without the city allowing hunting and trapping. Lakefront plans are still moving forward, but city officials say money has to be reallocated and it will negatively impact the development of 250 vacant acres along Lake Michigan, where a mix of public, residential and commercial uses are planned. "It's going to take away from other things we can do on the lakefront," City Attorney Larry Haskin said. Oak Creek had applied for a DNR stewardship grant to help pay for the purchase of 30 acres along the lakefront at 9006 S. 5th Ave. The $300,000 grant, for which city officials say they received …
Monday, April 22, 2013
Geothermal systems, which tap into the earth for energy, would save the city money in the long run but require a large initial investment.
Oak Creek is considering a geothermal system to heat the new city hall-library building that will be constructed in the Drexel Town Square development. A geothermal system, which taps into the earth to produce energy, could save the city almost 30 percent on utility bills, officials said. But it would also add about $320,000 to the project. The city wants to install the system but has to find the revenue to make the initial purchase, City Administrator Gerald Peterson said. It would take an estimated 11 years for the city to recover its costs, according to Sustainable Engineering Group, which made a presentation about the system to the Oak Creek Common Council last week. The city has set a budget of $19.5 million to construct and furnish …
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The TIF district, formed in 2000, supported the expansion of Nucor in the Northbranch Industrial Park.
Oak Creek has dissolved a tax-incremental financing district in a move that will return $6.5 million to tax rolls. The TIF was created in 2000 to support the expansion of Nucor, then called Milwaukee Steel Converting, at 400 W. Burkhard Court in the Northbranch Industrial Park. The business expansion has resulted in an additional tax value of $4.6 million, according to a report to council members. The project costs for the TIF district, which mostly went to expand a public street, were $722,528. The city has received the tax increments necessary to pay the project costs and can now close the district. "It's really a great example of how the city can invest in the future of its companies, of its businesses, of its business parks, and get …
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Gerald Peterson, in his second full year on the job, is now making $118,000.
The Oak Creek Common Council has approved a raise for City Administrator Gerald Peterson, bumping his salary to $118,000. Peterson, the top-paid Oak Creek employee, was hired in 2010 at a salary of $115,000. The raise is effective Oct. 18, 2012. The employment agreement also provides for 20 days paid time off, which City Attorney Larry Haskin said in a report is consistent with other city employees. The council unanimously approved the agreement Tuesday after meeting in closed session in October and November to evaluate Peterson's performance.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Remediation work is scheduled to begin next week, bringing the city one small step closer to opening up the lakefront north of Bender Park to the public.
City Administrator Gerald Peterson knows Oak Creek residents have heard this all before. For more than a decade, Oak Creek has sought to redevelop the city's lakefront from long-shuttered factories to something its residents can actually use and enjoy. And for just as long, the city has been stymied, with blame pointed to the environmental problems caused by those factories. But starting next month, residents will actually start to see some semblance of progress. Crews are expected to begin working on the southern end of the 250 vacant acres along Fifth Avenue, just north of Bender Park, sometime next week. They will be removing select areas of trees and concrete slabs, excavating along part of the bluff and treating soils, all in an …
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Both the company and city say they are excited to get going on creating three new civic buildings for Oak Creek. Construction is set to begin next year.
The level of excitement between Oak Creek and Bray Architects about the city's new library, city hall and fire station seems mutual. For Bray Architects, it's getting to design "signature" buildings in the middle of a high-profile redevelopment project at the former Delphi property, near the corner of Drexel and Howell avenues. A team of city officials who reviewed potential architects came away impressed with Bray's deep experience with public buildings and strong project and design teams. The group selected Bray out of five firms, calling the company a "natural fit" for the city's plans. Bray Architects officially came on board Tuesday night with unanimous approval of the Oak Creek Common Council. "What really excited us is that you want…
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
A Four Points by Sheraton hotel and airport parking lot, proposed for the corner of College and Howell avenues, is back on again.
A proposed hotel development for the corner of College and Howell avenues is alive once again, with a new incentive package that alleviated the concerns of top Oak Creek officials. The agreement between Oak Creek and development group Syner G reduces the city's financing from $4.5 million to $2.75 million. The money will come through a tax-incremental financing district and be repaid over nine years. Money provided by private investors, meanwhile, has increased. T2 Development upped its investment into the hotel by $500,000 and committed an estimated $1.6 million for a long-term parking lot that will be used by Mitchell International Airport travelers, according to a report to council members. As additional collateral, Syner G agreed to …
Sunday, July 15, 2012
City officials again recommending the Oak Creek Common Council drop its financial support for the proposed complex at College and Howell avenues.
Back in June, the Oak Creek Common Council asked city officials to give it another try with the developer of a proposed hotel complex and see if the project could still move forward despite the developer's financial difficulties. But it doesn't appear more time solved anything, as city officials are again recommending the council withdraw its financial support for the proposed development at College and Howell avenues. "This recommendation is based upon the inability of the developer and his partners to provide adequate assurances, protections and safeguards to the city for the timely return and repayment of city funds," City Administrator Gerald Peterson said in a report to council members. The council had pledged $4.5 million in …
Thursday, June 7, 2012
The Public Policy Forum spent about a year researching how fire departments in Oak Creek, Franklin, Hales Corners, Greendale and Greenfield could consolidate and save money.
Oak Creek is diving into the Public Policy Forum's report on fire department consolidation and will hold a public meeting to hear what residents have to say. The Oak Creek Common Council on Tuesday referred the report to the Finance and Personnel committees and the Police and Fire Commission. The city will hold a meeting at a later date to give residents a chance to weigh in, and Public Policy Forum President Rob Henken will speak to the council within the next month, Mayor Steve Scaffidi said. The Public Policy Forum spent about a year talking to fire chiefs and administrators in Oak Creek, Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield and Hales Corners to study how the fire departments could consolidate and save money. The study laid out three models …
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The city of Oak Creek is changing its medical insurance plan network and could see large savings as a result.
A change in the city of Oak Creek's medical insurance plan network could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, said City Administrator Gerald Peterson said. At its Tuesday meeting, the council approved changing the city's medical insurance plan network from UnitedHealthcare Options PPO to Choice Plus. Peterson said if the city was in Choice Plus in 2010 and 2011, network discounts would have saved $646,019 and $748,389, respectively. City officials recommended the move following a review that showed a number of areas where its insurance plan could be amended. Over the last eight years, the cost to provide health insurance to employees and retirees has skyrocketed by $3.5 million, far outpacing Oak Creek's revenue and depleting …