Editor’s note: This article studies what’s in store for the Village of Windsor in 2021. We’ll be looking at what’s on tap for the Village of DeForest this year in a later edition.
2020 was a busy year for the Village of Windsor.
Putting up a new public works building along Hwy. 51 was among the biggest projects.
There was also the joint road construction project with Dane County to improve County Hwy. DM and Clinton Road. In addition, the village renovated a building on Depot Street for a new police department. All of this was done during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Looking ahead to 2021, there’s still a lot to do.
“A lot of it will be a continuation from last year,” said Village Administrator Tina Butteris.
That includes the redevelopment of Windsor Road, as Windsor forges ahead with planning for a new municipal building in the area and park improvements, while seeking more private-public partnerships to bring in more economic development.
The first part of those plans involved moving the police department and its four sheriff’s department deputies to their new quarters.
“The deputies are excited to be downtown and about being closer to the action,” said Jamie Rybarczyk, Windsor’s deputy administrator and director of economic development.
Rybarczyk added that the village would also be looking for more municipal gathering spaces there and bringing additional events, especially for the older population.
In 2021, Butteris said the village is hoping to finalize a location for a new municipal building and nail down plans for improvements to Windsor’s Fireman’s Park. Village board meetings will be addressing these issues throughout the year. Rybarczyk said they are at the conceptual geographic planning stage, with the possibility of acquiring more properties and seeing how much size they have to work with regarding both projects. The village is still looking at buying a couple of properties in that area.
Butteris said Windsor is also hoping to see continued development and progress with the Windsor Crossing development, which includes single-family and multi-family housing and commercial development. It is an 83-acre, mixed-use development located at the junction of U.S. Hwy. 51 and Windsor Road.
Butteris and Rybarczyk said the village is continuing negotiations with the developer on plans for Windsor Crossing. The COVID-19 pandemic, changes in the economy and the recent Presidential election have impacted the project.
Behind the scenes, village staff expect to work on Windsor’s ordinances. They will take into consideration the amount of growth Windsor has experienced in recent years. Rybarczyk said some of Windsor’s ordinances still relate back to when the municipality was a township and that they need to be changed or modified. Seeing how long-term growth plays into that is another consideration for staff.
In particular, the village will be scrutinizing its zoning and subdivision ordinances.
Another area of emphasis is improving online services. Already, the village has implemented an online dog licensing program. Next up is the establishment of a similar program for building permits.
Rybarczyk said the village is hoping to get the online building permit process up and operational by Feb. 1.
“We’re doing beta testing now internally,” said Rybarczyk.
Rybarczyk said that while such work doesn’t sound exciting, he added that not every community has the software or the capability to create such programs.
Butteris added, “It’s great, too, for the public, but also for staff.” She cited the efficiency of the programs to help staff with their workloads.
As far as roadwork goes, Windsor will be sticking to its normal road maintenance work in 2021. No big projects like the village had in 2020 are expected this year.
Village officials are, however, anticipating seeing in February a preliminary report from Mark Roffers, of MDRoffers Consulting, on Windsor’s joint housing study with the Village of DeForest. Rybarczyk said Roffers had already been contacted by the DeForest Area School District as it looks to update its enrollment projections.
The results of the joint housing study will be a key factor in how much demand there is for certain types of housing in the area and how much supply is available.
Additionally, the housing study, combined with census data, will impact the village’s outdoor recreation plan. The village will be looking at the plan in 2021, as it considers what to do with its parks, paths and outdoor recreation areas.