With little chance of negotiating a price for a parcel of private land on Grant Avenue, the City of Sturgeon Bay unanimously approved a recommendation by the Finance/Purchasing & Building Committee to begin eminent domain proceedings for a right-of-way on Tuesday. The City has offered up to $280,000 for Timothy Ruenger’s entire 36-acre parcel of land, where a proposed road would connect Grant Avenue to Sawyer Drive on the far west side. Ruenger, through his own commissioned appraisal, valued the land at $720,000. City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout says negotiations are stalled at this point.
The City of Sturgeon Bay is now only seeking to purchase the 66-foot wide right-of-way strip on Grant Avenue with the eminent domain proceedings. This year, a new mini-golf course project was proposed at a Plan Commission meeting that would front on Grant Avenue. Several residents in the area voiced concerns at a public hearing about traffic and parking issues near Highway 42-57 last month. The City recently reached out to the Wisconsin DOT again on connecting the two streets that have been considered for several years. The DOT reported that the street connection needs to be done and would push for it regardless if the new mini-golf project happens. The City of Sturgeon Bay will now seek professional advice suggested by their attorney James Kalny to move the eminent domain process forward.
(photo courtesy of City of Sturgeon Bay)