Agency To Teardown Old HotelWritten by Jacqueline Skarda
The people of Brule want to make better use of the land in its downtown area.
That's why a newly developed Community Development Agency wants to tear down a dilapidated old hotel and make way for viable local business.
The outside walls are peeling.
The foundation, crumbling.
Windows are covered, broken or in some cases completely gone.
“It's well passed beyond being able to fix it,” says Alan Bahnsen, Community Development Agency.
A new Community Development Agency in Brule wants to revitalize the downtown area, starting with this old hotel building on 2nd and State streets.
“Not since the early 80s has anything really been in here,” says Bahnsen.
The project is reminiscent of a private effort to clean up an old building two blocks north.
Just like the teardown of the old gas station, this plan was a long time coming.
“You just get used to seeing it. And after you've seen something that long, after a while it just becomes a thought in the back of your mind, you just don't realize, how it's starting to degrade,” says Bahnsen.
But Alan Bahnsen with the CDA says this project will use Tax Increment Financing for demolition.
“That TIF project allows you to capture that increment over the life of the contract, you'll get it back over time, you just won't get it back right now,” says Bahnsen.
The CDA faced the large task of getting through all the paperwork and making sure they were in compliance with laws.
But it's the community that has offered the most help.
“Right now we're sitting at 8 donors that have pledged resources to help get this done. Right now we'll have approx. 3/4 of the total cost covered just on pure donations. We still have a little ways to go but I'm fairly confident we'll get there,” says Bahnsen.
Bahnsen estimates between $18,000 and $20,000 will be spent on demolition, clean up and bringing the site up to code.
They will have to reapply to get approval for the development stage.
It's a lot of hard work, but the benefit to the community will be long lasting.
“It will be a nice looking structure that will start bringing in tax base. That basically helps all those entities that are dependent on upon tax income,” says Bahnsen.
The building may also help the village see more traffic.
Every bit helps to keep the village viable.
The CDA wants to start demolition within the next 45 days.
They hope construction can begin by the end of the year.