GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Expanding Port of Green Bay helps efforts to move coal piles out of downtown Green Bay

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) The city of Green Bay is one step closer to relocating the coal piles stored along the banks of the Fox River. Kris Schuller reports a state grant awarded to Brown County sets the stage for moving that effort forward.

At the mouth of the Fox River local leaders celebrate a huge step in their concerted efforts to move these coal piles out of downtown Green Bay.

“We have a long road in front of us, but this is an enormous step forward,” said Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich.

“Right now, we have the stars aligned and there is an opportunity for us to work collaboratively together and that is what we’re seeing,” said Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach.

This week Brown County was awarded a $500,000 grant from the WEDC to help purchase land where the old WPS Pulliam power plant once stood at the mouth of the Fox River. The county plans to use it to expand port operations.

“This site which you had in control, that served this community for many years, has another life that’s going to serve the community for many more years,” Streckenbach said.

And with that anticipated purchase, a huge problem is solved for Green Bay; one these two local governments have been working toward for roughly two years.

“To be able to have the county take ownership of the Pulliam power plant, makes possible the relocation of our coal piles downtown to an exclusively industrial area,” said Genrich.

“When you look at the coal and consider where you could potentially relocate them, this site the county is purchasing makes the most sense,” said Streckenbach.

But to move these coal piles owned by C. Reiss Coal Company out of central Green Bay, another agreement between the two must be reached. Mayor Genrich says those talks are ongoing.

“This is a first step in a really lengthy journey – but it is an enormous one,” said Genrich.

That purchase agreement between Brown County and WPS could possibly go before the full County Board later this month. The county isn’t sharing the expected purchase price for the WPS property. Streckenbach says it’s still being negotiated.

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