The City of Milton Common Council gave authorization Oct. 20 to City Administrator Al Hulick to execute an offer to purchase approximately 55 acres along Putman Parkway.
The land is owned by the Belardi Family Trust.
The land being considered for purchase is located east of County Highway M and south of the SSI and Diamond Assets buildings, Hulick said.
The city is looking to purchase the land for the purpose of constructing a rail spur which will be used by a potential developer and other area sites, Hulick said.
In a memo to council, Hulick wrote: “The purpose of this purchase would be to allow for a future railroad extension to the east from the existing spur, and for future expansion of the Crossroads Industrial Park.”
The city, Hulick wrote, would “likely be out of city-owned land in the industrial park within the next few months due to ongoing development negotiations.”
The acquisition, he noted, would place the city in a good position to continue its growth.
”Additionally,” Hulick wrote, “the extension of rail would be a highly sought after commodity from many developers and would position the city very well to continue logical and sequential smart growth with quality manufacturers and distributors.”
According to Hulick, the city has had ongoing negotiations with “a developer that is looking to acquire a large tract of land north of Putman Parkway and utilize this rail site.”
With the land purchased and the rail extension in place, the city could market sites in the area as rail service sites, which, Hulick said, “generally don’t exist in Rock County anymore other than at the (former) General Motors site in Janesville.”
Hulick told members of council that the offer was “heavily contingent on the successful development of the project to the north.”
If that project were not to come to fruition, he said, “then a rail spur would not be extended at this time and we would retain the land that we currently have for development sites.”
Addressing council, Hulick said: “Even if you approve this this evening, there are still several contingencies outlined in the offer to purchase that would need to be satisfied before we could actually execute that sale.”
He described authorization to execute the offer to purchase as the first step in the process.
Next steps would include satisfying the contingencies with the developer, Hulick said, with a possibility that a sale closing could complete yet this year.
“If we close in 2020, that means that the other project is successful and moving forward,” Hulick said, adding that council would see “many items on its agenda between now and then.”
In his memo, Hulick wrote that the developer’s project “is moving along expeditiously.”
Funding for the land acquisition will come through TIF districts, and will not bring levy supported debt, Hulick said.