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City of Monroe buys nearly 100 acres of new land
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MONROE - In the interest of further city expansion, Monroe aldermen agreed to purchase almost 100 acres of land between County N and Wisconsin 81 northeast of Walmart Supercenter.

The city will pay a total of $1.85 million, or $18,785 per acre for the parcel totaling 98.48 acres. That price was negotiated down from $24,000 per acre. The area the city could develop is 80.7 acres.

The Dolan Family Trust currently owns the property. Assistant City Administrator Martin Shanks described the owners as "an assortment of family members" who are from Aurora, Illinois and purchase land near bypass areas in order to make money through real estate.

Shanks explained the need for more land to the council on Tuesday. The city has a lack of space within its industrial parks, he said. While Honey Creek Industrial Park lots are no longer public property, the city also has only two lots available in the North Industrial Park, one of which is a 7.5-acre parcel that would require heavy developing.

As recommended by the recently updated Monroe Comprehensive Plan, Green County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Mike Johnson and Shanks spent time exploring how to grow the city by identifying land nearby that can easily be developed.

"Obviously, this was something that was identified in the Comprehensive Plan," Shanks said.

Shanks added that the land is a good fit because of it lacks wetlands and is close to both water and wastewater utility lines, which run under the bypass. The total price for developing the 80 acres of feasible land is just under $3.93 million. Total projected costs for the entire property are roughly $5.77 million.

The land could be used for industrial growth, Shanks said, although the definition would not be limited if opportunities for the city arose.

"We're looking at anything at this point," Shanks said.

Once the purchase agreement is reviewed by the Dolan family attorney, the city will annex the land, form a Tax Increment Finance District for the property and secure financing to buy the land as well as for planned improvements.

If they are unable to reach these goals within a year, the city and the seller both have the option to terminate the agreement.