Kewaunee County shows interest in welcoming possible state prison

KEWAUNEE, WI (WFRV) - The fate of a proposal to close Green Bay Correctional and build a replacement prison elsewhere is being debated in Madison.  Kris Schuller reports elected officials in Kewaunee County have expressed interest in welcoming that new facility.

If state lawmakers approve closing Green Bay Correctional and replacing it with a privately built prison nearby,  Robert Weidner believes support is growing to build it in Kewaunee County.

“The municipal governments I've talked to are very open to hearing more about it,” said Kewaunee County Board Chairman Robert Weidner.

Representative David Steffen's bill, aimed at opening up real estate in Allouez for commercial development, proposes a replacement prison be built in Brown or an adjacent county and be leased by the state. Weidner says land for that prison is available west of Luxemburg near Highway 54.

“There is a sewage system going from village of Luxemburg to Green Bay Metro's sewage plant,” said Weidner.

Weidner says the prison would help the county's economy, which has lost jobs and revenue with the closure of the Kewaunee Power Station in 2013. A privately built prison would pay property tax.

“The estimate is between $2 million and $4 million, so on the fiscal end it's obviously a big boost to the county,” Weidner said.

But the chairman wonders, should the state decide to buy the prison - the bill requires an annual payment to the host municipality.  His question is for how long?

“We still need to have some assurance that the payment in lieu of taxes has a long-term life,” said Weidner.

Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach supports the overall bill. He traveled to Madison this week for its first public hearing.

“It's a great opportunity for the village of Allouez to actually take land that's been off the tax rolls, put it back on the tax rolls,” said Streckenbach.

But is it a great opportunity for Kewaunee County too? A question Weidner says he's still trying to answer.

“We're looking at that very seriously,  the pros and cons of the project,” said Weidner.

Weidner says the board plans to survey residents in the coming months to gauge public support.


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Movie Listings
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • High School Sports Xtra
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Local 5 Fish Fry Guide
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

Video Center