Demanding Millions from Small-town Evansville

One reads (subscription req’d) that the SWAG project won’t happen in Evansville.

SWAG is the Southern Wisconsin Agricultural Group, and they wanted $5.5 million from tiny Evansville, Wisconsin before building an agricultural complex in that town.

So Evansville, recognizing that the cost would inhibit other municipal projects, said no after SWAG demanded millions:

More than $5.5 million through TIF by asking the city to exceed its voluntary cap of borrowing no more than 50 percent of its legal limit.

The state limits the city’s borrowing to 5 percent of equalized value, which in Evansville is about $15 million, [Mayor] Decker said. Following advice from financial advisers, the city’s policy is to not exceed 2.5 percent.

Exceeding the city’s 2.5 percent cap would make it impossible to do street repairs, water system upgrades and other needed projects, Decker said.

“If we did SWAG, we wouldn’t be able to do these,” she said.

Evansville did the right thing – they avoided millions in borrowing that would have inhibited necessary municipal tasks.

No doubt Evansville was under huge pressure to do what SWAG wanted; holding firm against exorbitant demands will assure ordinary residents the services they deserve.

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