Kiel Mill project gets a reprieve

After months of stalemate over the future of the Kiel Mill renovation project, owner Markus Ladd is beginning to see a path to completion of his vision.

Ladd’s efforts to refurbish and renovate the iconic Kiel Mill building have been at a standstill for the past 15 months due to restrictions from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The mill project was put on hold due to challenges with flood plain restrictions.

By pursuing an opportunity to be considered as historical building on the National Register of Historic Places, Ladd has positioned the work on the mill to proceed, at least in phases.

As a temporary solution, the Wisconsin DNR has granted Ladd permission to allow modifications to the building to make it structurally sound and able to weather the elements.

“This will allow us to make sure that rain or snow aren’t going to get inside the building until it is approved on the National Registry,” Kiel City Administrator Jamie Aulik said.

Aulik noted that the City of Kiel has been a willing partner in the project from the start, but has had its hands tied by DNR constraints.

The key element in allowing the project to be completed, is achieving the National Register of Historic Places designation.

If that happens, all the flood plain zoning regulations and restrictions on the building would no longer have any bearing.

“From the city’s perspective, that would allow the building to fall under standard city zoning and regulations and allow Markus to improve the mill and allow him to use it any way he wants,” Aulik said.

(Please see the August 27  issue of the Tri-County News for more on this story.)

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