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New projects in Chilton expected to stimulate local economy

Work includes changes to Nennig Park, upgrades to schools, new fire building

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May 17, 2023

CHILTON – Over the next several years, the City of Chilton will be getting a facelift – with many upcoming projects breaking ground, including a new fire station, multi-family housing developments and an inclusive play area at Nennig Park.

Updates within the Chilton Public School District – which were approved by voters in an April 2022 referendum – are also in the plans.

Altogether, Chilton City Administrator David DeTroye said the improvements will not only collectively benefit the community, but it is a move that could filter in millions for the city – further stimulating the local economy. 
Breaking down the projects
DeTroye said the planned improvements around the city are projected to bring in more employment opportunities for residents as well as additional housing options that will promote further expansion.

According to the 2020 United States Census Bureau, Chilton has a population of 4,080.

The largest industries within the area include manufacturing, healthcare and retail.

“As the city continues to grow, we are looking to add amenities,” he said. “People are drawn to new attractions, and we view the upgrades as a boost to traffic and the economy.” 

Along with desired improvements, DeTroye said the changes also include necessary updates.

“Police and fire improvements are a necessary need, whereas park and recreation and improvements to the school buildings and facilities are viewed as attractions,” he said. 

Many changes for facilities and buildings are circulating, and a generous handful of projects are scheduled to be completed throughout the next few years, DeTroye said.

“Beyond a new fire building and a police department and City Hall remodel, a watershed study will take place, ultimately leading to Lake District incentives,” he said. “Park plans are on the schedule, too.”

DeTroye said park initiatives are a special project for the city, especially for children and families.

“They are the most tangible,” he said. “People can touch, feel and use the facility when complete.” 

One project, in particular, will take place at Nennig Park.

DeTroye said the project will include the Matt Kolbe All-Inclusive Playground, which honors the legacy of Matt Kolbe, who passed away in 2011.

The community will be able to enjoy the accessibility-focused playground, which will include features like a roller table, we-go-round, cozy dome and friendship swing.

DeTroye said there are also many changes happening at local schools.

The school district recently celebrated the start of its $19.3 million referendum project, which will kick off with a new athletic complex, scheduled for completion this fall. 

// Public School District voters approved the construction of a new athletic field at Chilton High School, along with significant other improvements to district facilities. Rendering Courtesy of the Chilton Public School District

In the 2024-25 school year, additional referendum projects include additions and renovations to the elementary school and its classrooms, traffic flow improvements and other district-wide building and site enhancements. 

With the potential for new residents, DeTroye said an abundance of living space is imperative, leading to a hearty budget for such improvements.

“The city has also made significant investments in housing,” he said. “We are hoping the housing initiatives will help fill many of the open positions with local manufacturing facilities – there are many good paying jobs within the city that are unfilled.”
DeTroye said there are two, new multi-family complexes and two, new single-family developments under construction, adding nearly 200 homes to the community between Bantr and SC-Swiderski properties.

“There are currently two new multi-family developments with more than 135 units under construction and two single-family developments that will produce 60 new homes in the coming years for the city,” he said.

City-wide updates, DeTroye said, also pave the path for prospective businesses and small business owners who may consider Chilton as their home base.

“We continually pass on information to small businesses as it becomes available,” he said. 

// of Chilton Administrator David DeTroye said a new fire building is also in the plans. Rendering Courtesy of McMahon Engineers/Architects

DeTroye, a former small business owner of more than 20 years himself, said he applauds the many community resources that can help businesses in the area.

“I appreciate the work of the local chamber of commerce as well as the many agencies, such as the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation that share grant and funding opportunities,” he said.
Residents’ input
When it comes to planning updates and additions to the city, DeTroye said residents play an important role.

“City officials rely on valuable insight from residents when creating plans,” he said. “When asked for public input, speak up and give suggestions. Advance input is appreciated by residents.”

With the planned improvements happening around the city, DeTroye said he believes Chilton will be an even better place to live, work and own a business.

“It has large aspirations for growth and development,” he said, “But it maintains enough small-town charm to realize everyone is included and matters in decisions. Come join us – we are looking to build more upon a great foundation.”

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