Reflecting on Burtness plans

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Greg Peck
November 27, 2012

My wife and I have shopped for new and used cars at Burtness Chevrolet in Orfordville. Through the years, we’ve bought both a new Chevy and a good used car from Burtness.

Sandwiched as it is between Brodhead with its Chevrolet and Buick dealership to the west and Janesville with dealerships for many makes and models to the east, Burtness has survived and thrived. It has done so without space for even a single car in an interior showroom the past decade.

Now these cramped quarters and General Motors’ desire to have its dealerships look similar are driving an expansion plan. While the village has yet to finalize details, it plans to buy a 15-acre parcel on Highway 11 just west of Highway 213 from Gary Fossum for $270,000. The village will sell it to Burtness for a nominal fee, about $1. The village, in turn, would take ownership of the current Burtness dealership at 303 E Beloit St. and use it for its village hall, police department and perhaps even the library.

The village would borrow $290,000 to buy the Fossum parcel and pay other related costs. The village would recoup that investment through higher property taxes on the new dealership after the land is added to the village’s tax incremental finance district.

Does this proposal make sense for both the dealership and the village? We’ll share our perspectives in our editorial Wednesday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

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