When plans for a high-speed rail line were nixed in 2010, the effects went beyond the scope of transportation options. In Brookfield, it meant a planned train station in the Brookfield Village area would no longer be created to stir development there.
"Staff began looking at what might create the energies and synergies of a high-speed rail," City Planner Jason Williams explained.
After doing considerable research, Williams and city staff began exploring the idea of a festival or an annual event to bring people to the Brookfield Village area. That study found that nearly half of Brookfield residents self-identified as Germans, making an ethnic festival an obvious potential option.
The exact nature of such an event has yet to be determined, and the question of who will pay for it may be a tricky one. Some local businesses already have been approached about sponsoring the event, but even the idea of such an event had yet to be vetted through any elected body prior to Monday's Plan Commission meeting.
Williams presented to the commissioners the staff's goals for the event and for the village. He explained that some economic incentives, like loan programs, paid for with room tax dollars, could be used to help local businesses.
Also, additional multifamily housing projects would increase foot traffic to the quaint Village shops and restaurants.
A town hall meeting to discuss a festival or event will be held June 27, but Community Development Director Dan Ertl cautioned the commissioners against overreacting to neighborhood concerns since the entire city likely will benefit from added growth in the area.
Commissioner and Alderman Rick Owen agreed.
"I still get complaints about St. Dom's when they have their festival," Owen explained, adding that he understands the city must take a broad view of the potential impacts.
WHAT: town hall meeting to discuss the possibility of a festival or event for the Brookfield Village area
WHEN: June 27
WHERE: City Hall, 2000 N. Calhoun Road
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