Sunday, January 10, 2010

Say goodbye to Sturgeon Bay, say hello to Ghost Town!

Well, I hate to say it but Sturgeon Bay's in deep s***....

1/7/10 - Council Members Weigh In On Wal-Mart
By Bob Dohr

The Wal-Mart issue has been discussed by the Sturgeon Bay City Council many, many times prior to Tuesday night's consideration of the retailer's final Planned Unit Development, so aldermen didn't spend a ton of time asking questions and making comments. But that didn't mean they didn't have things to say. Ron Vandertie didn't agree with an amendment dealing with the water supply, saying it can be dealt with at a later time.

At issue is whether the city needs to build a water tower or if the retailer's water needs can be met in a different way. Either way Wal-Mart would contribute to the cost.

Alderman Thad Birmingham said he doesn't like the look of the sign that's being proposed

The monument style sign would say "Wal-Mart" on the top and "Econo Foods" in smaller letters below. Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak says the sign would be backlit and feature a limestone-type base to give the sign more of a local look.

The Council ended up approving the final PUD by unanimous vote.

Wal-Mart road construction reviewed
Plan involves extended turn lanes, more stoplights
By Kurt Rentmeester • January 9, 2010

The Door County Highway Safety Commission has approved a series of improvements on Egg Harbor Road to enhance traffic flow and open the area to pedestrians and bicyclists for when the Wal-Mart Supercenter opens there in 2012.

Extended turn lanes and additional stoplights were some of the features in a revised plan that Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Tony Depies presented Thursday to the commission.
(& just HOW are they going to do this? To expand turn lanes they'll have to widen Egg Harbor Rd, which means they'll take land from the Nightengale, dig up graves & move em, etc!)

The center left turn lane in the 1500 block of Egg Harbor Road was lengthened for greater capacity, he said. The area was extended between 14th and Alabama streets. Wal-Mart is covering the improvement costs.

Stop signs are being added at the intersection of Egg Harbor Road and 14th Street and at the front entrance for the Wal-Mart development. A left turn lane will be added specifically for the entrance area at Wal-Mart.

"The intersection's absolute final design is still a little bit in flux," Depies said. "They're still getting some right-of-way from the cemetery just to the east of Wal-Mart. There will be signals at the entrance, as well as the intersection of 14th and Egg Harbor."

The plan also includes details on alternative routes during construction and diagram of the front of the store.

The plans also include details on the design and length of left- and right-hand turn lanes. Bicycle lanes will be added, and sidewalks will be added along Egg Harbor Road between Eighth and 14th streets near the Wal-Mart development.

"Putting in sidewalks is difficult because of the cost of construction," Depies said. "Every time they try to put sidewalks in, we receive some opposition, even when they're free."

A detour route will be established when the road is rebuilt, he said.

The proposal will go to the Door County Highway Committee for input in the coming weeks on the street improvements planned in anticipation of the Wal-Mart Supercenter expansion.

Initial response was positive from members of the Door County Highway Safety Commission.

Safety Commission Chairman Dan Austad said he was impressed with the safety aspects of the proposal.

"It looks good, there's no question about it," Austad said. "But the Highway Committee will have more say on the issue."

Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej said he expects to see a few final changes to the proposal before work begins next year. But some of the additions open the area up to pedestrians and bicyclists.

"I think the safety improvements are important," Kolodziej said. "One of the most critical things they need to have are sidewalks ... and the bicycle route. There is much greater pedestrian access."

Wal-Mart receives go-ahead to build Supercenter
New store won't be ready until 2012
By Ramelle Bintz • January 9, 2010

Wal-Mart won unanimous approval Tuesday from Sturgeon Bay's Common Council to build a Supercenter behind its current store at 1536 Egg Harbor Road.

But the new store won't be ready until 2012.

"We were somewhat surprised of the timeframe," said Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak. "It's 2½ years away."

Wal-Mart submitted a preliminary schedule to go with its final Planned Unit Development plan that shows its property closing in April, completing construction development plans the rest of this year, bids going out in 2011 and construction starting next year.

The project still needs to go through two more rounds of approval with the council — first and second readings are required to amend the city code for zoning, Olejniczak said. The city and Wal-Mart also need to sign a development agreement, and until those steps are taken, there are no commitments.

The council tweaked a list of nine conditions that are part of the final approval. Alderman Steve Mann asked for language to be changed to include "a contribution from the developer for improvement of water storage and/or supply facilities as needed to supply and support the Wal-Mart store."

Previously, the agreement specified a water tower. An impact study done by Vierbicher of Madison said the construction of a 150,000-square-foot Supercenter likely would result in the need to construct a new municipal water tower estimated to cost $960,000.

The size of the store since has been scaled back to 120,000 square feet, but the Supercenter would trigger the need for increasing the water supply. An additional water tower already was included in a long-range utility plan by Sturgeon Bay Utilities, which owns the parcel behind Wal-Mart. Even without a Supercenter, a tower was anticipated as other development occurs near Egg Harbor Road.

SBU Operations Manager Cliff White was at Tuesday's meeting and told the council a water tower is just one option. Another plan is to build a booster station. SBU is modeling the project to see which option is most cost-effective. Either way, Wal-Mart agreed to pay its share of the project.

For a water tower, White estimated Wal-Mart's need would be about 40,000 gallons, or about one-fourth of what a water tower would hold. An estimate of $250,000 is not totally accurate, he said, because final plans are not yet known but soon will be — in time for the city and Wal-Mart to sign an agreement. The Vierbicher study estimated Wal-Mart would generate a net revenue benefit of $7,000 to $10,000 for the utility and would help lower overall utility costs for residents.

White said additional water is not needed immediately, even with a new Supercenter. The increased capacity covers redundancy or worst-case scenario situations.

"For example, if there were a fire at the store and their sprinkler system would go off," he said, "would we have enough water for other businesses and homes in the area? We don't need it now and we may have gotten the cart ahead of the horse."

Also attending Tuesday's meeting was Mike Tadych from EconoFoods, who told the council he would like to see an additional drive between the stores.

"By putting one entryway, it will deter customers from going between the sites, and we'll lose that 'one-stop shop,'" Tadych said.

He also said trees should be moved on the plan to improve the line of sight to EconoFoods. He asked the council to delay its decision and asked for another traffic analysis.

But the consensus was that details could be reached with city staff, as one of the conditions of approval gives staff latitude to continue negotiations.

Alderman Thad Birmingham didn't like the look of the new monument sign displaying Wal-Mart's name and Econo Foods' below it. Olejniczak said Wal-Mart redesigned the sign with limestone and it was made larger to accommodate Econo Foods' name. To do so, the arch was removed.

"No matter how well Wal-Mart camouflages the sign," Birmingham said, "local residents will still find Econo Foods."

Birmingham said he also would like to see more sidewalk access in the plans for anticipated additional development in the area.

"We could finish connecting the dots and complete that puzzle and allow residents to access that," he said. "Otherwise, I think Wal-Mart has gone out of their way to accommodate the city, and I would commend them for that."

1/9/2010 2:58:44 PM - patric wrote:
Would have liked to have seen the lighting plan for this. PUD's usually require them.
Do they plan on using glare-free lighting outside (essential for older drivers) or the typical overly-bright lights used to lure people like moths to a flame?
Will acres of empty parking lots be lit at 2 am, which wastes electricity, spoils the night view (tourism $$) and confuses migrating birds which circle until they die of exhaustion?
Unless we want to look like Chicago at night these are things we need to consider at the planning stages.

1/9/2010 3:39:43 PM - jlvw1 wrote:
We dont need another walmart! or a 3rd grocery store within a couple miles of eachother. West side needs a little more attention paid to it. maybe people south of sturgeon bay would be more willing to stay here to shop instead of going to green bay if it was a little more convinient. Everyone is always worried about the tourists. They will continue to come visit door county. The year round residents and locals would love to have their wishes granted also. Besides, you keep the locals happy, they can in turn help keep tourists happy!!

1/11/2010 5:51:17 AM - sh1265 wrote:
How could they be surprised that is going to take 2-1/2 years to build it? It took them longer then that just to make a descision to let Walmart come. What was the bridge? About 10 yrs of descision making and 2 years of construction? If the city would have truly represented the people, and got the ball rolling, we'd probably be in the new Walmart already. This has been going on for years. Thankfully now it seems to be moving forward.

1/11/2010 9:19:17 AM - mukamuk wrote:
If you dont like Wal-Mart,then shop Target. Wal-Mart has overwhelmed every community that they go into. All the people want is low prices but are you ready for the consequences? Whatever tax savings from Wal-Mart will be more than offset by the businesses that will eventually disappear including the two grocery stores that are nearby.If you don't believe that look at what they did to K-Mart with that big empty building. Then you will be at the mercy of Wal-Mart and I guarantee you the prices will go up since there is no competition. Wal-Mart is the leader in selling groceries on this planet. Going up Wal-Mart is like playing monopoly and all you own is Baltic ave. Wal-Mart doesnt settle in towns without a planning period looking at the size of the community,the labor(cheap), The community is definitely split but also the community has no choice because the people are desperate for low prices. The tourists arent stupid because they see competion in the big city all the time.

1/14/2010 9:21:21 AM - mlmpianoman wrote:
I echo sh1265 precisely. We could have already been shopping at the SuperCenter. BTW, we plan to continue shopping at no ground lost there on the grocery issues. Many of our friends feel the same way.

& if THAT stuff isn't bad enough.........

1/6/10 - Primary Set, Six Candidates For Mayor
By Bob Dohr

The Sturgeon Bay City Council made it official Tuesday night, setting a primary for February 16. City Clerk Stephanie Reinhardt says six mayoral candidates filed their papers by Tuesday's deadline: Barb Allmann, Perry Andropolis, Thad Birmingham, Dennis McIntosh, John Wade and John Williamson.

Reinhardt says the cost of the primary is estimated to be $9,600 with the county covering $3,300 of that. Reinhardt says the city did budget for four elections, so the item is covered in the budget.

Mayor Tom Voegele announced in December that he would not be seeking another term.

Any way you look at it, Sturgeon Bay's SCREWED!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived in Jacksonport going on 4 years. And having been living here I am very thankful for the supercenter to be built. I actually drive to Green Bay just to shop at the supercenter. I don't think this will deter tourists from shopping at their fancy little expensive shops at all. This will just help us locals actually be able to afford to keep living here and doing our jobs.

7/24/2011 01:37:00 AM  

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