Could quarry become county fishing hole?

Town poised to acquire former gravel pit, considers giving it to county for park
Ozaukee Press staff

Conversations regarding transferring the Payne and Dolan limestone quarry to the Town of Saukville are expected to begin soon.

“We have an agreement for (the quarry to be) transferred to us,” Town Board Chairman Kevin Kimmes said at the July 19 Town Board meeting. “(Payne and Dolan pay) around $4,000 a year in property taxes. They’re trying to get out of that.”

“It’s going to be in front of us and wehave to think longterm about what we want to do with the property and what decisions and agreements we should do.”

One suggestion, revisited from several years ago, is to transfer the property, across from the Town Hall, to the county, Kimmes said. The county has expressed interest in making the property a public fishing spot.

“It’d be great if there were another place to go fishing that wouldn’t require a boat,” County Board Chairman Lee Schlenvogt said.

Schlenvogt said the county has not discussed the property in recent months.

Kimmes said people are currently using the property, and the town received requests to go ice fishing there this winter, which were declined. People allegedly are illegally hunting on the property as well.

“We noticed there are a couple guys that go hunting up in there,” Kimmes said. “I haven’t taken the time to say, ‘Hey, you can’t go in there’ yet.”

The quarry has been a point of controversy for town residents, according to Supr. Curt Rutkowski.

“It’s been an issue that has been difficult to resolve,” Rutkowski said. “The terms of the deal wasn’t a fair shake to the town.”

Town residents were infuriated when the quarry first came to Saukville, even creating a citizen’s action committee in 1992 to challenge the proposal through legal action.

Residents were concerned about the long-term implications the quarry would have on the environment and property values.

In 1992, concerns regarding the town’s transparency were brought to the forefront in light of the quarry proposal, including not providing notice of a public hearing, not sending out mailings and issues with an environmental assessment, according to a memorandum of reasons for denial of the Payne and Dolan application for a conditional use permit sent to the town from the citizen’s action committee’s attorney Weiss, Berzowski, Brady and Donahue.

A lawsuit was filed in late 1992 on behalf of more than 100 residents. The lawsuit’s defendants were former Town of Saukville Chairman Marvin Hoffmann and Supervisors Albin VandeBoom and Paul Brunnquell. In late December 1992, Payne and Dolan, Inc. requested to be named as a defendant as well.

In June 1994, Washington County Judge Richard Becker voided the Payne and Dolan conditional use permit, saying the town violated its own ordinances. The decision came as the conditional use permit application was incomplete — the former town clerk applied the wrong criteria when sending the public hearing notice and the town clerk did not comply with an ordinance requiring a newspaper to publish public hearing information. This was appealed all the way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in April 1997, which sided with Becker’s ruling.

Payne and Dolan then filed a lawsuit against the Town of Saukville in July 1998 contending the town deprived the company of its right to operate a quarry on the land. Payne and Dolan won the lawsuit on July 14, 2000.

The company eventually opened the quarry, which eventually led to the current land transfer.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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