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Rhinelander business park project killed by county board

by
Rhinelander Hodag in Rhinelander, WI
Rhinelander Hodag in Rhinelander, WI

RHINELANDER, Wis. (WXPR) -- In 2006, Oneida county invested more than a half­ a million dollars in what promoters said would be a sustainable business park on Rhinelander’s west side. Tuesday, the Oneida County Board of Supervisors officially killed it.

The county purchased 272 acres in the hopes of attracting modern manufacturers and young entrepreneurs. A feasibility study discovered problems getting enough tax revenue back and also access problems to the site. Area trout fishers also worried about a well­-regarded trout stream on the property.

Supervisor Denny Thompson requested up to $5,000 to find out what the county owns. "One item we would need is a good appraisal to find out what assets we really have out there."

The property is just east of the Northwood Golf Course. Supervisor Tom Rudolph says the park was also billed as a place for county recreation and that aspect should also be considered. Supervisor Bob Martini said since a business park isn't in the cards, the county should look at all options. "I think the (Oneida County) Economic Development Corp has pretty well answered whether it's a viable option for a business park, but the other options need to be looked into."

Supervisor Jerry Shidell said the expenditure that lead to nothing after seven years was symptomatic of other problems. "Unless you run it like a business...unless you get rid of committees of jurisdiction and hire an administrator, unless you reduce the size of this board down to a manageable proportion, you're going to keep pullin' this kind of b.s. until there is no more b.s. to be pulled in this county."

The board approved having a committee come back with recommendations before August.

 

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