By Tim Kowols
Kewaunee County is not holding its breath when it comes to two studies concerning the Green Bay Correctional Institute. A St. Norbert College study showed a redeveloped prison site in the Village of Allouez could fetch $138 million in annual economic impact and create over 1,400 jobs. A separate study being done at the state level is taking a deeper look at all prison facilities in Wisconsin. Republican State Rep. Dave Steffen has led the charge, proposing a privately-owned prison instead of pouring millions of dollars for repairs for the GBCI. Kewaunee County, the Village of Luxemburg, and the City of Algoma have all expressed interest in being the home of a new facility, but Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says it is waiting on the legislature to decide GBCI’s fate before getting more involved.
Weidner expresses one concern the county does have is if the state were to buy the prison in the future, making the land tax-exempt. He says certain assurances would have to be made before they would sign off on the potential project.