By Tim Kowols
An anonymous family was willing to donate the necessary funds to contract Meyer Borgman Johnson to determine the structural integrity of the granary according to the Door County Community Foundation. Before walking out of the meeting during the vote to dismantle, salvage, and store the granary, Council Member Laurel Hauser distributed the letter to members of the media, stating the family “understands the need for the City of Sturgeon Bay to protect the safety of its citizens, but also recognizes the City’s obligation under Wisconsin law to negotiate in good faith with the State Historical Society regarding the preservation of structure.” The gift would allow the analysis to be done at no additional cost to taxpayers and “provide incentive for the City’s leadership to move beyond the current impasse and work together for a better future for us all.” The Door County Community Foundation has not taken a stance on the fate of the granary, but President/CEO Bret Bicoy says whether the money is in the hands of the city or not, his organization is good for it.
It is the second time the city has turned down a donation from the Door County Community Foundation regarding the granary. An anonymous donor has pledged up to $1.25 million dollars to restoration efforts if the city and the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society could agree on a project. Andrew Stern from the Wisconsin Historical Society, who has asked the city for time to negotiate a compromise, had no comment after learning of the Sturgeon Bay Common Council’s 4-3 vote to dismantle, salvage, and store the grain elevator.