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Granary preservation is possible with taxpayers protected

Granary preservation is possible with taxpayers protected

Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse

Roger Utnehmer
DoorCountyDailyNews.com
President and CEO


Preserving the Sturgeon Bay Teweles and Brandeis granary will someday be recognized as an exceptionally forward-thinking decision. And when future generations celebrate the sound decision-making of today’s city council majority, much of the credit will be given to the Door County Community Foundation.

That’s because the resolution adopted by the Sturgeon Bay city council to accept the granary requires the community foundation to play a significant role in protecting taxpayers. Council member Laurel Hauser introduced the resolution that calls on the foundation to facilitate an agreement between the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society and the city, protecting both. That agreement will be voted on by the city council February 5th.

Few in Door County have become as respected, trusted and influential as Bret Bicoy and the Door County Community Foundation. Protecting taxpayers and preserving history can be accomplished when the trusted leadership of the foundation plays such an essential role.

Hauser outlined compelling arguments for preservation of the granary on the city’s west-side waterfront during Tuesday's council meeting including;

...the recent compromise ruling that delineated where private development can occur on the waterfront and what property must be held in trust for the public. That Department of Natural Resources ruling on the ordinary high water mark puts the granary site on the portion of the property that must be preserved for public use not private development.

...the granary footprint will comprise only 2% of the entire west-side waterfront property in question.

...no public taxpayer dollars will be used to move or renovate the granary and an endowment for future long-term maintenance costs will be established.

Hauser also stated that significant private development can still occur to the benefit of Sturgeon Bay taxpayers and that the city ad hoc waterfront committee can still play an important role with the granary back in its original location.

Not too many communities have benefactors coming forward with donations of more than $1.25 million to preserve a state and nationally-recognized historical structure.

The Sturgeon Bay city council was wise to rely on the trusted ability of the Door County Community Foundation to facilitate acceptance of those dollars and preservation of the granary without costing taxpayers a dime.

That’s my opinion. I’d like to hear yours.


 

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