Letter to the Editor: Hard to See Fleet Farm As an Asset for Sturgeon Bay

Regarding the Editor’s Note [“It’s Apparently Not a Big Deal to Fill Small Wetlands,” April 28] on the proposed Fleet Farm to be constructed in Sturgeon Bay and the store’s intention to fill in “degraded” wetland: I am late to the party regarding this project, but I am following the progress on a Facebook site called DoCo Residents (Year Rounders).

The people on this site, myself included, share a concern and view that this allowance of degraded wetland fill-in is death by a thousand cuts for total wetland acreage. Wetland stays wet for a reason, and the effects of encroachment are well documented by countless construction projects that have run into problems as a result.

I have spoken with a city official who passed along information about the legislative bill that was passed [in 2018] allowing wetland parcels of fewer than 10,000 square feet to be filled in under general permitting with no mitigation required. 

Fleet Farm said they would move the gas station to another part of the property if Sturgeon Bay would pay for a frontage road, to which the city said no. The city also said they would not pay for a traffic signal. 

I understand that an economic-impact study was done by the University of Wisconsin that assured the Fleet Farm would have no adverse effects on other nearby businesses. I wonder whether the nearby gas stations, Ace Hardware and Tractor Supply would agree. Because there is a shortage of people in the workforce in Door County, I fear that Fleet Farm would poach existing workers from other employers, further complicating this shortage.

Other issues include – but are not limited to – light pollution, buried gasoline storage tanks, extra traffic (some of it hazardous), garbage and noise. All of these things make it hard to see Fleet Farm as being a good neighbor or an asset to Sturgeon Bay overall. 

Fleet Farm construction is not a done deal yet, and we would sure love to see this project be rejected. 

Philip Frystak
Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin