The Futures of Downtown, MSTC Merge
by Brandi Makuski City- Times Editor
The City- Times has learned Mayor Andrew Halverson will represent the City of Stevens Point during negotiations with Mid-State Technical College as it relates to the school’s move to the former mall site.
A reported $2.1 million will be placed into an escrow account as a “developer’s incentive” to accommodate Mid-State’s move to downtown. That figure does not include the $750,000 state grant for downtown redevelopment, but the majority of the details won’t be released to the public until the final deal between the city and Mid-State is reached.
“There are things you to need to discuss with a frankness that needs to be preserve, for obvious reasons,” the mayor said of closed- session discussions.
Because of the school’s tax- exempt status, the property it currently occupies at 933 Michigan Avenue has no real monetary value, according to City Comptroller/Treasurer John Schlice.
“[Mid-State] is a non- profit entity, so there’s no reason to put a value to it,” he said.
Schlice added while he isn’t privy to the details, he suspects this could be why the negotiations take longer than residents might like, and are kept private.
“Some people think it’s worth more, some people think it’s worth less,”Schlice said.
“It’s a matter of opinion.”
The move will bring additional dollars to downtown business, Halverson said. It also paves the way for city hall to relocate to the MSTC site after some renovations are complete.
Mid-State officials are also being tight- lipped about the negotiations, but did say they’re not throwing in any surprises.
“Financially, we’re not asking for anything we haven’t previously verbally agreed to,” said Communications Director Karl Easttrop, who read from a statement
Easttrop works in the Wisconsin Rapids location of MSTC. The City- Times was unable to reach Stevens Point Campus Dean Steven Smith, or MSTC President Susan Budjac, in time for this article.
“We certainly remain excited to be in the new facility to serve the people of Stevens Point,” Easttrop said, adding he expects the new building to be ready and open for business in winter of 2013.
According to Halverson, the $2.1 million allocated for the college was part of the $5.9 million referendum passed in February of 2011.
The deal between the city and the college will likely not be made public until after it’s been finalized.