Port-Saukville deal to open land to development

After years of debate, city agrees to pay village $100,000 so it can provide sewer service to 40 acres off Highway 33
Ozaukee Press staff

After decades of debate and sporadic negotiation, the City of Port Washington and Village of Saukville have reached an agreement that will give the city control of property it owns on the far west side of the community.

The Common Council on Tuesday offered no comments before unanimously approving a deal that has the city paying the village $100,000 over the next four years in return for the ability to extend sewer service to the 40-acre parcel on the south side of Highway 33 east of Jackson Road known as the Schanen farm.

City Administrator Tony Brown said the agreement was reached after a couple months of discussion.

Although previous talks failed to resolve the issue, Brown said he believes recent discussion over paramedic service set the tone for recent negotiations.

“I think that really opened up the conversation about what else we could cooperate on,” Brown said, saying it illustrates the importance of building relationships.

Brown said the Saukville Village Board is expected to approve the agreement when it meets later this month.

Before the deal is finalized, it must also be approved by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and the Department of Natural Resources.

That, Brown said, probably won’t happen until late December at the earliest.

Once that approval is received, the city will have to make its first $25,000 payment to the village.

In the interim, the Common Council and Plan Commission will discuss what to do with the property, Brown said.

“This provides the city with the opportunity to move forward in the fashion it so desires,” he said.

The former Schanen property was in the city’s sewer service area until the mid-1980s, but when the Port-Saukville School District was considering land across the street for a high school the city and village exchanged sewer service areas so the school could be served by the city.

The city purchased the Schanen farm, which straddled both sides of Highway 33, in 2000, later selling the northern portion of the land to Bielinski Bros for the Hidden Hills subdivision.

The city expected a soccer park and recreational complex to be built on the southern portion of the property, but the sewer issue got in the way.

The city, which would provide water to the site, said it was only logical it would provide sewer service, noting its sewer lines abutted the property.

But village officials said they were prepared to service the property, a proposition that could be expensive because of the distance it would need to extend its lines.

Initially, the city offered to swap  some land in its sewer service district for the Schanen property, but the village declined the offer.

The city also talked to SEWRPC and the DNR about changing the sewer area, but to no avail.

When the soccer fields weren’t built, the city and Port Youth Baseball developed a plan in 2012 to create a baseball complex on the Schanen property, complete with the concession stand, walking trail and playground. Residential development would have been located around the perimeter of the fields and three commercial lots created along Highway 33.


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Ozaukee Press

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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Port Washington, WI 53074
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