Annexation approved for Kolby housing project

Matter comes back later in September so permanent zoning can be approved
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

A housing project in the southern part of Shawano has received the green light to become part of the city.

Kolby Construction, based in Birnamwood, purchased 31.25 acres in August and plans to develop the lots within the next two years, which includes paying for roads, utilities and other necessary infrastructure. The total cost for this project is expected to be more than $2.2 million, so Kolby Muscha, owner of the company, asked the city to help offset some of those costs. The council approved a $750,000 loan in July from funding for Tax Increment Financing District 7 to help build 31 lots just south of Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College’s Shawano campus.

The property being purchased is in the boundaries of the Town of Waukechon, so Muscha submitted a petition to the city for annexation. Currently, the road to be used to reach the development, Thomas Avenue, ends at the NWTC campus, so it will be extended once the lots begin to develop.

The annexation petition cleared its first hurdle as the Shawano Finance Committee gave its recommendation to proceed Sept. 7. The petition received final approval from the Shawano Common Council on Sept. 13 to become part of the city, now nestled in the 6th Aldermanic District.

The land is temporarily zoned single family residential. The city’s plan commission will make recommendations on the permanent zoning following a public hearing later in September, which must be brought back to the council for final approval.

City Clerk Lesley Nemetz and City Administrator Eddie Sheppard met with Waukechon town officials in August to inform them of the annexation. Nemetz said the town officials seemed to be in agreement, not wanting to lose the property from its tax rolls but realizing the action would bring more people to the area.

“We will submit this to the state and the county for recording, and then we will be able to move on,” Nemetz said.

Sheppard noted that Waukechon Street south of County Road B will be utilized during the construction period for development traffic so that there isn’t so much traffic on Thomas Avenue around NWTC and Shawano Community High School, but it would not be part of the annexation, as there would be some property in the area that will remain part of the Town of Waukechon and would have become an island, something not allowed under state law.

Sheppard said that the deal was struck when talking with town officials.

Kolby Construction has closed on the property, according to Sheppard, and there are plans to develop the land during the winter months so that utility and road work can begin in the spring, followed by home construction.