West Allis proposes financing to expand Summit Place parking structure

Jan. 17, 2013 10:35 a.m. | West Allis would provide $2 million to help add more parking spaces at Summit Place business park, under a new city proposal.

The funds would be part of the proposed $3.25 million expansion of a tax incremental financing district at Summit Place, 6737 W. Washington St.. Summit Place was developed by Whitnall Summit Co., led by Richard Carlson, within portions of the former Allis-Chalmers manufacturing complex.

Tax financing districts are created to help pay for development of apartments, industrial buildings, offices and other commercial real estate. Typically, a city will borrow money to do road work, buy and clean up blighted properties, and take other steps to encourage new projects.

The property taxes from new or improved buildings within the tax district are used to pay off that debt. Once that occurs, the property taxes then flow to the community, its school district and other local governments.

A tax district created in 2004 to help finance the Summit Place redevelopment has resulted in 650,000 square feet of office space, hosting 50 businesses with 2,300 employees and adding $47 million in new property value, according to the West Allis Department of Development. Tenants include Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield.

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West Allis proposes bailout for tax financing districts

Jan. 17, 2013 7:00 a.m. | Property tax revenue from a tax incremental financing district in West Allis would be used to help bail out two other tax districts which have been hurt by lagging development prospects, under a new city proposal.

Tax financing districts are created to help pay for development of apartments, industrial buildings, offices and other commercial real estate. Typically, a city will borrow money to do road work, buy and clean up blighted properties, and take other steps to encourage new projects.

The property taxes from new or improved buildings within the tax district are used to pay off that debt. Once that occurs, the property taxes then flow to the community, its school district and other local governments.

In recent years, several Wisconsin communities have run into trouble paying off tax district debt because of  declining or stagnant property tax revenues. A new state law allows such financially distressed tax districts up to 40 years to pay off their debts. Normally, state law limits those payback periods to 27 years.

In West Allis, a tax financing district created in 1994 to help finance the development of the Quad/Graphics printing facility, at Highway 100 and W. Theo Trecker Way, will be paying off its debt this year.

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19-year-old man charged in Pewaukee police chase

Jan. 16, 2013 5:20 p.m. |  City of Pewaukee — Charges have been filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court against a 19-year-old West Allis man who allegedly led police on a 2.7 mile high speed car chase through the City of Pewaukee Wednesday morning.

A Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, occupied only by the defendant, Donte J. Delamar, at about 1:39 a.m. on Jan. 16 as it drove the wrong way on Highway 164 at Tower Place, according to the criminal complaint. The vehicle fled west on Tower Place and turned into a parking lot, where it “recklessly weaved” through the lot and exited south onto Pewaukee Road, where it failed to stop at a red signal, according to the complaint.

The vehicle eventually reached speeds of 90 to 100 miles per hour on Pewaukee Road, speeding through lights at Northview Road and Moreland Boulevard, before crashing into two telephone poles near Buena Vista Avenue, the complaint reads.

Officers ordered the defendant out of the vehicle, and he complied. Delamar allegedly told police after being transported to Waukesha Memorial Hospital for possible neck injuries that “he panicked,” according to the complaint.

“The defendant indicated that his thoughts were blank and he felt as if he weren’t in control of himself,” the complaint reads.

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Woman, 81, killed in West Allis crash

Jan. 16, 2013 1:56 p.m. | An 81-year-old West Allis woman was killed in a one-car crash about 10:30 a.m. today in the 1900 block of South 71st Street in West Allis.

The car she was driving crossed over the center line of southbound 71st Street and struck a tree on the east side of the road, according to police.

Her name is being withheld pending notification of family. Alcohol and speed do not appear to be factors in the crash, police said, and the crash remains under investigation.

Greenfield Avenue bridge closing Jan. 21

Jan. 15, 2013 9:14 p.m. | West Allis Mayor Dan Devine announced Tuesday night that the Greenfield Avenue bridge will close Jan. 21.

Peter Daniels, West Allis senior roads engineer, confirmed that, saying there could be a delay until Jan. 22. The closing date had previously been Feb. 1. The bridge which spans Interstate 894 will be torn down and a new one built to accommodate a wider freeway underneath.

The crucial bridge is still scheduled to reopen by July 18, Daniels said.

Greenfield Avenue will be closed to through traffic from 106th to 96th streets, Devine said. But access to businesses will be maintained, he said.

Health care provider drops West Allis headquarters plan

Jan. 15, 2013 7:00 a.m. | A proposal to develop a new West Allis headquarters for a nonprofit health care provider has been dropped.

Development firm Tarantino Co. in February 2012 proposed four new buildings totaling 200,000 square feet, for 7.5 acres between W. Greenfield and W. National avenues, about a block west of S. 65th St. The vacant lot was once the site of the Pressed Steel Tank factory.

The new buildings would have provided offices for Community Care Inc., as well as a nursing home, community-based residential care center and an assisted-living center.

Community Care, based at 1555 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee, provides health care and social services for seniors and disabled adults in their homes, and at community centers.

"After careful consideration, Community Care made the decision not to move forward with the West Allis campus project," said Megan Hindman, marketing & communication manager, in a statement. "We continue to explore opportunities that have the potential to help us best serve our members."

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Greendale woman charged with homicide in pedestrian death

Jan. 14, 2013 3:46 p.m. | A 31-year-old Greendale woman has been charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle after striking a pedestrian with her Cadillac Escalade and killing him in October.

Josephine E. Sardina of Greendale had marijuana in her system when she fatally struck David Budge, 54, of South Milwaukee about 3 p.m. in the 4500 block of W. Loomis Road in Greenfield, according to a criminal complaint.

If convicted, Sardina faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison, a fine of $100,000 or both.

Budge was walking south on the east side of the road in the parking lane when he was struck by Sardina, who was attempting to enter a gas station, the complaint says.

Sardina said she thought she had hit a parked car, the complaint says. She denied being on her cellphone, but phone records show she sent a text message at 2:58 p.m. and received and read one less than two minutes later. At 3:02 p.m., she called 911 to report the accident.

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