Taxpayers Bilked out of Thousands

Published 08/05 2014 03:33AM

Updated 08/05 2014 05:12AM

GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WFRV) A Green Bay alderman is calling for the immediate sale of a downtown hotel after taxpayers shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The city purchased the Clarion Hotel, located across the street from the KI Convention Center, early in 2013 for $2.85 million. The plan was to sell it immediately for $2.7 million. The $185,000 difference would be the city's investment to secure the air rights and all easements for the footings of the KI expansion. 

The sale of the Clarion to American Hospitality Management was approved by Green Bay City Council back in July 2013.

Green Bay Alderman Joe Moore says while this transfer should have been done in just a few months, it's been nearly a year and the sale is still not complete. He says in the fall of last year, the city's Redevelopment Authority approved an additional $200,000 to be put in the maintenance fund for the hotel. Just a few weeks ago, an additional $150,000 was taken out of the KI maintenance fund to pay off all remaining debt to close the hotel.

Instead of a quick sale, the city still owns the property and taxpayers are out $535,000.

"I no longer see a deal, and I would not have voted to approve this project a year ago if this was what was being pitched to the Council," Moore told Local 5's Wendy Fleury. "I believe that with the construction of the KI Convention Center under way that this property would potentially attract new buyers. I think that it's time for the city to wash their hands of this property, reimburse the KI Maintenance Fund and let the professional developers move forward with the projects."

Moore will go before the city's Finance Committee today (Tuesday) to request that if the ownership of the Clarion Hotel has not been officially transferred by August 30, 2014, the city will place it back on the market.

Local 5 reached out to city officials for comment on this story, but they were unavailable as of this writing.

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