APPLETON, Wis., (WFRV) An Outagamie County committee will soon consider an offer from the city of Appleton, for a piece of its property in downtown Appleton. The site currently is a county-owned parking lot. The city of Appleton wants the site to build an expo center.
At the corner of Elm and Lawrence, sits an Outagamie County-owned parking lot where the city of Appleton wants to build a new expo hall. Yet to get things rolling, the county has to agree to sell.
"Parking has really been an issue."
For Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, the answer is not so cut and dry.
"If we do sell a piece of our campus - we need to make sure that our short term and long- term parking needs are taken care of," Nelson said.
The lot is the preferred location for a 30,000 to 50,000 thousand square-foot expo hall that would connect with the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel.
Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna says the project would bring $6 million a year to the downtown area.
"In order for this convention hotel to compete in the market that is changing, we need that big space," Hanna said.
Hanna has sent Nelson a proposal - the offer at this point still confidential - but Nelson says it fair.
What is still a question mark is what can or should be done, to replace the parking spots that the county will lose.
"That really has been the point of contention as far, as what we need to do to sort out a proposal," Nelson said.
Yet Mayor Hanna says that issue can also be worked out through a parking analysis later this year.
"We're already planning on talking to the county about their future needs and that will be part of the bigger analysis for all of downtown," Hanna stated.
Next week a county committee will go over the proposal and determine next steps.
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