By Tim Kowols
Its lawsuit against the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront is costing the city more than just money spent in legal fees according to Mayor Thad Birmingham. According to a letter posted on the city’s Facebook page, the lawsuit is costing Tax Increment District #4, the area slated for redevelopment, $225,000 per year in property tax revenue from proposed projects like the hotel and the brewpub. The letter also states the TID, expected to generate $20 million of new property value, has had to forego nearly $1 million that would have been used for public improvements. City administrator Josh VanLieshout told DoorCountyDailyNews.com last November the proposed development would go a long way in improving Sturgeon Bay’s west side.
The Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront challenge the city with violating the Public Trust Doctrine with parts of its development due to the location of the area’s ordinary high water mark. Our call to Birmingham Monday afternoon seeking further comment was unreturned. You can read the letter and see pictures of the proposed development online with this story.