Oshkosh city council approves sale of golf course to Oshkosh Corporation

The Oshkosh City Council voted unanimously to sell the Lakeshore Municipal Golf Course property to the Oshkosh Corporation, if the Fortune 500 company agrees to buy the land. 

One council member abstained from voting because he works for the Oshkosh Corporation.

The sale will allow the Oshkosh Corporation to buy 35 acres of land where the golf course is at $100,000 per acre.

That leaves 65 acres open for the city to use as green space. The city manager, Mark Rohloff, says the area is ideal for a 6.5 mile riverwalk, parks, and shops.

"There's so many residual outcomes that we're going to get as a result of this," Rohloff said. "I think it's going to be great to help us attract and retain talent for now and for the future."

The Oshkosh Corporation has been receiving offers from other cities to leave Wisconsin and build elsewhere, which would take away hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars away from Oshkosh's local economy. 

The city of Oshkosh evaluated 19 potential spots where the Oshkosh Corporation could build, but the company only had eyes for the beautiful and spacious Lakeshore Municipal Golf Course property, which is owned by the city.

Many residents spoke during the public comment about how valuable the Oshkosh Corporation is to the city, and how the company has been a part of Oshkosh for 100 years.

The golf course has been around for just as long, and golfers were sad to lose it.

"My dad worked up there, my brother worked up there, I've been playing there for 70 years, I'm 78 years-old, and it's just part of my life," Roger Schuhart, an Oshkosh golfer, said. "I'm for Oshkosh Corporation, and it's a great company and I want them to succeed, but you would think that they could find some other land that's just as suitable as Lakeshore."

The potential of losing the Oshkosh Corporation, and the opportunity to create a riverwalk that the whole community can enjoy, was enough to convince City Council to sell the golf course.

"The city of Oshkosh wants to make sure that our economic future is secure and that we're gonna take an active stake in that," Rohloff said.

There is no timeline as to when the Oshkosh Corportation board will decide if they want to buy the golf course from the city. If the company does, construction will start in spring of 2018, with completion of the new headquarters in December 2019. 

 


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