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Final audit still has to take place for the disbanded downtown Waukesha BID

Chamber of Commerce using old office

Dec. 30, 2013

The downtown Business Improvement District has been disbanded for more than eight months, but City Administrator Ed Henschel said in what has been a "long drawn-out process" loose ends with the organization's financials are still being finalized.

"We have had several inquiries about the status of assessment refunds from the Business Improvement District," Henschel said in a recent email to former BID stakeholders. "Completing all of the financial obligations and closing out the BID has been a bit more complicated than anticipated."

Henschel said the Wisconsin Statute requires a final audit when a BID is dissolved. That audit was requested in November, Henschel said, but the company was not immediately available to conduct the audit.

Moreover, he said there are still several outstanding checks that must clear the bank before they could do their work. As a result, the close-out audit is scheduled for next week.

Henschel said he's hopeful to get the final audit report within a couple of weeks after the field work is done. At the end of January, he said the city will mail refund checks to the BID property owners based on the refund calculations determined by the Baker Tilly auditors.

The city administrator added the current lease on the BID office, 802 N. Grand Ave., expires in February.

But he said to make it not a total loss to the BID, the office was sublet to the City of Waukesha Chamber of Commerce to recoup some of the rent.

"The only remaining asset of value is the BID's golf cart, which we are currently getting a fair market appraisal on and the city will purchase. The payment will be deposited into the BID account," he said.

The BID, a taxing district in downtown that represented 159 properties, disbanded earlier this year. Property owners petitioned to have it eliminated after a majority didn't like the direction the newly-formed organization was heading.

This came following the resignation of many of the BID's board members and its executive director in late 2012.

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