May 25, 2017
By David Nordby The Brillion News
BRILLION – For the better part of the past year, the Redevelopment Authority Commission (RDA) has been holding multiple meetings a month with private sector members who are ready and willing to invest in Brillion.
On Monday night, Brillion City Council made a motion to agree to back the efforts to help revamp the city.
“We need to be communicating more with this group [city council],” Professional Plating Inc. General Manager Larry Dietz said. Dietz also offered an apology to open up a long, insightful and emotional discussion about the direction of the city.
Dietz stated that in the past 15 years employment has increased by 100 percent inside Brillion, but is only up 20 people in population from 2010. Seventy percent of workers on Highway 10 commute to Brillion, according to Bob Endries. Dietz added that the private sector has invested $30 million in the city since 2010.
“A lot of it leaves Brillion every night,” Dietz said. “The dramatic investment in the city is not mirroring what the city has done.
“The only way that it’s going to happen is to continue to grow Highway 10, possibly a new downtown, a new city hall and stuff like that,” Dietz said.
Dietz and Endries both told city council that the private investors are not interested in making money off the city, but rather reinvesting in an area that they believe in.
“This next year has to be a whirlwind of activity where we can catch up,” Dietz said.
An emotional Matthew Bennett of the RDA gave the most impassioned speech of the night asking city council to back the investors.
“If the council does not want to do this, they [private investors] might walk away. The city cannot afford to clean that area up. They can,” Bennett said. “The city cannot afford to get a new building. They can help.
“We need to be proud of this community. We need to invite people here and have them look at the city and say ‘this is a wonderful city to come to.’”
The motion by council was unanimously approved, though multiple members stated they want to do things smart, unlike how things have been done in the past.
Vicki Shafran thanked the private investors and said she’s excited, as did Mayor Gary Deiter.
Please see the complete article, with updates on the Brillion Iron Works site and Dollar General, in the May 25, 2017 edition of The Brillion News.