By Roger Utnehmer
The Sturgeon Bay City Council voted Tuesday to dismantle the 116-year-old granary on the west-side waterfront.
Council action came after one benefactor pledged $1.25 million to save the structure. Other donors offered significant financial support if the granary could have been saved.
The vote was 4 to 3 with Council Members Stewart Fett, Richard Wiesner, Ron Vandertie and David Ward voting in the majority. Council Members Laurel Hauser, Barbara Allmann and Kelly Catarozoli voted against demolition.
David Ward offered the motion that was finally adopted after both public comment and council debate. Ward’s motion stated that the granary be dismantled and salvaged materials saved for up to one year during which time private organizations could come forward with proposals to re-construct the granary at its current or other locations.
Council member Laurel Hauser attempted to give voice to those supporting the granary but was ruled out of order by Stewart Fett who was filling in for Mayor Thad Birmingham who was absent. Hauser said she would like to hear from members of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society before voting but Fett claimed the council “already had public comment and that would be out of order.”
Fire Chief Tim Dietman issued an order in November that the granary be razed in thirty days because of unspecified “safety concerns.”