The city will hold two public hearings Monday, Oct. 7, related to future development.

One is a new tax-increment financing district designed to accommodate the move and expansion of a Middleton business, Affiliated Construction Services, to a business park on the city’s southeast side.

The other is to reaffirm the city’s comprehensive plan. Doing would serve essentially as a two-year bridge, as the state requires comprehensive plans to be redone every 10 years.

ACS, an engine testing equipment manufacturer, plans to build a 45,700 square foot facility off Whalen Road in Liberty Business Park expected to bring 75 jobs here. That will require the construction of the remainder of Liberty Drive, which extends halfway between County Hwy. M and Whalen Road, and could contribute to a need for a stoplight at the Liberty-Whalen intersection.

The TIF project plan details an $800,000 pay-as-you-go TIF developer incentive that city administrator Adam Sayre said passed the “but for” test of whether it could happen without the city’s help. Construction of the road will be the responsibility of the landowner, Sayre told the Press, but the TIF plan would fund the stoplight, estimated to cost $657,000.

After the hearing and the Plan Commission vote, it would go to the Common Council, then would be taken to a joint review board and back to the council for approval. ACS aims to do most of its construction in 2020 and open later in the year.

The comprehensive plan, Sayre said, is effectively being delayed to allow the city to use data from the 2020 U.S. Census and to realign the timeline so future updates of the plan will also be able to use census data. The public hearing required a 30-day notice and will also need the council’s approval.

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