Mike Orlock, in his recent letter wanted to “clear the air” on the lawsuit brought by the Friends of Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront. He wants us to ignore all the fact-less claims and comments of the No Big Dumb Hotel Crowd (NBDHC). From the beginning their concerns were the proposed hotel’s competition with already established hospitality facilities in the community as well as the developer’s financing.
The city posted in February of this year, answers to 16 concerns raised by citizens during the planning process without one rebuttal from the NBDHC.
There were the claims by the NBDHC that there were serious issues with the contract between the developer and the city. Councilwoman Catarozoli stated that contract was “welfare for the wealthy.” She overlooked the fact that annual taxes of $162,500 for 20 years are to be paid to the property taxpayers of this city by the developer.
Then came the federal lawsuit by the NBDHC to stop the entire project based on the claim that the site was at one time underwater. Fact is there has been a sea wall on property since the 1950s. To many citizens, including this writer, this is just another attempt to delay the plan to develop the property. However there is the law of unintended consequences. What happens if they are successful in this suit? Is the Maritime Museum or Sonny’s illegal? Purves Lagoon, Strawberry Creek and Utopia Drive subdivisions were all developed on landfill. The NBDHC is attempting to reassure us that success in the lawsuit will not impact those areas. However, what happens when the next protest group and a creative attorney sue?
At the Oct. 6 Common Council meeting the attempts to delay the development ended when the motions to accept the unconditional financing commitment letter from Baylake Bank and a resolution authorizing sale of property both were approved. This was NBDHC’s final attempt at delay. The result is that the city’s process is completed on the development. Construction will begin when the lawsuit concludes.
I ask that the reader to go to foxglovedoorcounty.com. It is the website for litigant Carri Andersson and her business partner Councilwoman Kelly Catarozoli. It is a beautiful facility! They should be commended for doing such an excellent restoration of this facility. Their nightly rates of $160-$250 suggest that they are appealing to more upscale visitors which are the same group that the proposed hotel will appeal to.
Are you aware that they received a $40,000 revolving loan from the City of Sturgeon Bay to remodel their B&B when they purchased the facility? Seems strange to me that their loan and the low rental fee to tug owners is OK but the sale price of $90,000 for the hotel property is, to quote Councilwoman Catarozoli, “welfare for the wealthy!”
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.