By David Nordby
The Brillion News
BRILLION – The City of Brillion is looking into a potential public-private partnership (P3) with Integrated Public Resources LLC (IPR).
IPR, which is a McMahon Group company, presented at the Brillion City Council meeting last month on the potential partnership. The city has been gathering more input from various groups around the community since that night.
The proposed scenario would include IPR purchasing assets of the water and sewer systems in Brillion.
In return, Brillion would then take that money and be able to use it where they wanted. Potential options that have been discussed include a new fire station or police station. As part of the deal, IPR would be hired to build the stations or other possibilities that will be discussed.
Initial meetings between the city and IPR took place late in 2015, before the decision was made to have the introductory presentation last month to introduce IPR to the city planning, RDA and utility commissions.
McMahon has had a relationship with Brillion since the 1990’s and speaks with the city multiple times a week for ongoing projects they’re involved in.
“The main goal is to not ruffle any feathers … We want to continue to work with the city,” TJ Lamers, IPR’s project manager, said. This was a notion that IPR repeatedly emphasized during their presentation as well.
With all the variable parts that are moving and the ways the city could use a potential sale for their benefit, the city wants to make sure they discuss every detail.
Mayor Gary Deiter says the city will not rush into decisions. “We’ve gotta make damn sure that if we go in this direction that it is right,” Deiter said.
According to Deiter, community members haven’t been negative over a potential deal but some might have been scared off due to unfamiliarity with public-private partnerships.
“We’ll be going to each committee,” Deiter said. “We’re trying to get clarification.”
IPR meanwhile will wait to see if there’s anything else that the city needs, including that clarification. “The ball is pretty much in the city’s court, at this point,” Amy Vaclavik, said.
“McMahon has had a long relationship with Brillion and I think we’ve built that trust over time,” Lamers said, regarding any worry that community members may have.
After a nearly hour long presentation from IPR, some of those concerns were brought up by one member of the RDA, Ralph Rice. Many members of the community sat around the table excited at the prospect of working with IPR while others sat confused.
Rice was able to bring up questions that hadn’t been brought up to that point, vocalizing the potential downside of giving up assets of the city.
While the city waits to decide what their next step will be, Rice still doesn’t believe he can get on board with a partnership.
“You start talking about transferring assets to a fixed asset … I don’t think any city should ever condone that,” Rice said.
Please see the complete story in the March 17, 2016 edition of The Brillion News.