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small business in pittsville

Family with Small Business Drawn to Pittsville, Wisconsin

Pittsville Attractive to Small Wisconsin Businesses

Since moving to Pittsville in November 2017, married couple Mike Hobbs and Kim Baas have been asked many times why they chose to make Wisconsin’s centermost community their home.

“The simple answer is there was a house for sale that met our needs,” said Hobbs. “A lot of hours went into thinking about where we wanted to live, what things were essential, and what things would be nice to have.”

Kim had been self-employed since the birth of the couple’s first daughter in 2010. In the spring of 2015, they started their current business: Event City Design.

“We found ourselves living in a small apartment with four kids and a successful business and purchasing our first home became a priority,” said Hobbs.

The family looked at a number of other states, mostly for tax reasons, but ultimately decided to remain in Wisconsin.

“We created a checklist with a point system in order to rank properties we were looking at. We wanted a small community with a great school within walking distance, low crime, and easy access to 24-hour stores. We needed high speed internet since our business is an online store,” he said.

By the fall of 2017, they had given up looking. Their busiest time of year for the business was approaching and they needed to focus their attention on that.

“It was also creeping into our minds that maybe our perfect house just didn’t exist. We’d been house hunting for so long that it had become a bit of a hobby, though, so we took one last look…That’s when we found it,” said Hobbs.

The 5-bedroom home with room for the business and less than a half a mile from the school.

“Of course, the fear of moving to a small community is that you’ll be treated as outsiders, unwanted and ostracized,” he said. “It’s hard to find information online for small communities but we read online reviews for local businesses and watched Youtube videos. There is one video of the 4th of July parade that still stands out. We came to see the house, stopped at the local cafe, the gas station, and Baum’s Mercantile. We were convinced and bought the house.”

“That next spring, early morning, I was standing outside with my cup of coffee looking up at a still starry sky, listening to the Yellow River rushing through the rocks and I was overcome with how thankful I was that we found this place,” said Hobbs. “Since then, we’ve met so many wonderful people here. Some of them seem like they’ve been lifelong friends.”

The couple were able to buy a downtown building for the business and have become involved in a number of community groups. Though the family is happily settled, their hobby of looking at real estate hasn’t gone away.

“The thing that sticks out about Pittsville is that houses don’t come up for sale very often,” said Hobbs. “Fortunately, the city has invested in a few residential developments, offers a building incentive, and lot prices are remarkably cheap even compared to other cities in Wood County.”

Hobbs credits the building incentive as just one of many reasons to make Pittsville home for young families.

“I can create a list of amenities you wouldn’t think about finding in a small community such as; recreational opportunities, five business parks within a 20-minute drive, a calendar full of events/fairs but really the biggest reason for choosing Pittsville is the people,” he said. “This last fall we were at the Blue Bayou talking with a guy from Connecticut and laughing about how Pittsville is like moving to Mayberry from the Andy Griffith show.”

To learn more about opportunities in Pittsville, visit

This article originally appeared OnFocus.

Building Incentives Intensify Reasons to Move to Pittsville

Pittsville Among Best Small Communities to Live in Wisconsin

Those seeking to live in a small community with big opportunity are encouraged to check out Pittsville, Wisconsin. With an excellent school system, ample recreational opportunities, community clubs, two museums , a library, and an arts foundation – building in Pittsville is more enticing than ever thanks to a special incentive program available now.

Anyone interested in building a new home within the City of Pittsville has access to special incentives, equating 4% of the assessed value up to $150,000 with a maximum award of $6,000. The incentive is paid out after substantial completion is determined.

museums in pittsville

“Our City government created incentives to remain competitive with other communities that also offer incentives,” explained Dale Nichols, Pittsville Mayor. “We wanted to insure a growing tax base, provide more housing to bring more students to our school and more housing also brings more customers to our local businesses.”

Nichols has lived in the community since 1983 and was first elected to the City Council as an Alderman in 1992 before running for mayor in 2014.

“Anyone considering building a home should take a look at Pittsville,” he said. “Pittsville has numerous local builders that all do fantastic work. The price of building materials is coming down. Interest rates are fantastic! Pittsville’s City staff and officials (including the mayor) respond very quickly to any questions or issues.”

Pittsville Building Incentives

Top 9 Reasons to Build in Pittsville, by Dale Nichols:

  1. Cost – Costs to build in Pittsville could be significantly lower than other Villages or Cities in Central Wisconsin. We have fully improved building lots on paved streets, with curb and gutter and street lighting. Many lots have water and sewer and natural gas installed to the property line (lowering construction costs). The typical cost for one of these lots is $15000 and the new owner isn’t saddled with assessment costs for the above items.
  2. Incentives – Through the Community Development Authority, we offer construction incentives up to $6000 per home. These incentives are similar to other communities and in some cases Pittsville’s incentives are larger.
  3. Lower Taxes – Pittsville is a growing community, and the tax base since I’ve become the Mayor in 2014 has grown 34%. That means the City revenue has increased as a result. This allows the City to expand services without raising taxes. In the same 2014-2021 period, the tax rate has declined from $27.71/M to the current mill rate of $24.11/M, and the only city in Wood County to have a lower rate is Marshfield. Property values in Marshfield are significantly higher, which results in higher tax bills compared to Pittsville’s.
  4. Excellent Police Protection – In an informal study conducted in 2015 by the State Dept of Justice, Pittsville had more Police “patrol hours per capita” than any other community in Wood County except Grand Rapids. I have heard that Grand Rapids has been given the designation of “the safest community in Wisconsin.” I suggest that Pittsville is not far behind them. Pittsville is a very safe place to live or operate a business.
  5. Progressive Zoning – Zoning was reviewed and updated in 2020 allowing for home construction on smaller lots if the home owner wishes a “small home/small lot” concept. Currently, many communities don’t allow for this. Pittsville has also updated its Commercial district zoning to allow for flexibility in owning and building on commercial property. Pittsville is encouraging the idea of “mixed use,” where people live in the business district.
  6. Duplexes – Pittsville encourages the construction of duplexes by partnering with property developers. Agreements are negotiated on a case by case basis, between the City and the developer and the results have been mutually beneficial.
  7. Top School System with Advanced Educational Opportunities– An example of how good Pittsville Schools are is illustrated by test scores. A few years ago, Pittsville High School juniors scored in the top 5 schools statewide. My children attended Pittsville and I can attest that the teachers and staff are involved and focused on bringing as many educational opportunities to our youth as possible. 2021 saw the completion of our new Technology Building on the Pittsville School campus. This new building will allow Pittsville students to train and learn on the most up-to-date equipment in Wisconsin. The equipment used in Pittsville for educational training is more modern and advanced than the equipment in any Wisconsin Tech School. Pittsville High School students have excellent opportunities.
  8. Recreational Opportunities – Pittsville is in the middle of many recreational opportunities. From my home, I can be kayaking the Yellow River in 2 minutes. 99% of the roads in Pittsville allow ATV/UTV travel. Two Wood County Parks and public hunting land are within a 10-minute drive. There is a large, gorgeous City Park that’s only blocks away from nearly every home.
  9. Friendly Atmosphere – Pittsville is a friendly place with a welcoming small town atmosphere. Its the type of place where neighbors look out for their neighbors. People who have never lived in a small town are missing out on a great way of life!

To learn more about opportunities in Pittsville, visit This article originally appeared OnFocus.