Legislators Discuss Bill to Help Telemark Project Move Forward
The Wisconsin Senate Committee on Economic Development held a hearing on Tuesday, December 12, to discuss a bill that would allow the Town of Cable to create a tax incremental financing (TIF) district for a $47 million plan to remodel Telemark Lodge.
The Wisconsin Assembly Ways and Means Committee will discuss the bill Thursday.
A Florida company, HK Hospitality reached an agreement to purchase the lodge and wants to remodel it into a 250-room resort with a lot of other attractions, including concerts, a banquet facility and a new golf course.
HK Hospitality says the project will create up to 180 full and part-time jobs and bring in around $25 million from tourism to northern Wisconsin.
A spokesperson for Sen. Janet Bewley, Ashland, co-author of the bill, said the Assembly may vote on moving the bill forward. The hearing yesterday in the Senate committee allowed several local citizens from Cable to speak in support of the bill.
“The hearing was for promotion of the bill from Senators Bewley and Petrowski,” the spokesperson said. He said Rep. Romaine Quinn was also in attendance at the hearing promoting the bill. Bewley said a TIF district will allow increased property tax revenues created by the Telemark improvement to pay for its remodel.
“This bill gives the town a financing method to encourage development,” Bewley said. She added if tax revenues don’t increase enough to cover the loan payment, HK Hospitality would cover the difference.
The proposed bill would allow an exemption in current law, which only allows towns of at least 3,500 residents to create TIF districts if the value of taxable property is at least $500 million. Cable is a small community and wouldn’t qualify under the law.
Co-author of the bill, Sen. Jerry Petrowski, Wausau, said the bill would help insure the Telemark project moves forward, which will bring jobs to northern Wisconsin.