Sunday, January 11, 2015

For golf course, Kohler Co. wants state park land for $1/yr

[Updated, 9/24/15]  Remember that high-end golf course the Kohler Co. wants to build in a private wetland, forest and nature preserve it owns south of Sheboygan along Lake Michigan, but needed some state land in the popular, adjoining Kohler-Andrae State Park for the golf course and facilities build-out?

Get a load of the sweetheart deal for public land the company is talking about - - an impact far different from the description which the Journal Sentinel regrettably and prematurely endorsed when the Kohler Co. was talking acreage within the state park about one-tenth of what it has in mind.

Documents from the DNR obtained by a citizens' group opposing the plan show that on March 26, 2014, the company proposed to Gov. Walker a) it be allowed to construct an access road and bridge across some state park land, and b) be allowed to lease for the project what it termed a "relatively innocuous" 32.5 acres of the park - - for 99 years - - at $1 a year.

Update: Kohler has scaled back the ask for state land to four acres, though the park would impacted by traffic and other golf-related and your-maintenance activities.

Read page 50 of the record at this pdf link (marked pdf 2.2) for the letter to Walker. I have not yet come across his reply.

The full release of records to the group covering several years of Kohler Co. land development proposals is here.

An update from the citizen opponents is here. No permit application to build the golf course has been made either to the DNR or the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Kohler President and board chairman Herb Kohler, Jr., is a large Walker donor.

The Sierra Club posted good information some months ago, here.


Anonymous said...

better yet -- maybe walker will SELL the toilet king the land for one buck -- after all, we've got to privatize and kohler does make a very good crapper.

Which explains the big financial support from kohler.

Anonymous said...

The time is long overdue for the media to expose the continuing "PAY FOR PLAY" that has been put in place since Walker took office. It is one thing for The Political Environment to put this before the public but is quite another thing for the media to not expand and expound on this lead!

Anonymous said...

And we thought Walker was willing to sell state assets to the highest bidder ...

Johnny B. said...

anon 9:52

Media didn't "expose" anything -- in fact, didn't you read the post? milwaukee journal sentinel not only endorsed walker 3 times for gov, but they endoresed this plan and have stood silent since it was expanded to be a real pay-to-play.

The media has wholeheartedly endorsed pay-for-play in Wisconsin.

TBIGUY said...

Herb Kohler, "Mr. Big" himself, has Michael
Belot, head of his hospitality division, write a letter to Scott Walker asking him to help them lease a 32.5 acre parcel of State Park Land, for $1/99 years. Kohler describes the land as holding minimal importance or value, but the park visitors have certainly not felt that way, hiking on trails, enjoying the gorgeous landscapes & well as abundant wildlife, on these same acres. Bend over taxpayers your going to subsidize this golf course for years to come, starting with entitlements that the low waged temp. Construction & Landscape workers will be eligible for, on the quest of Kohler to further enhance his Forbes 400 standing, at the expense of the Environment, people's rights, taxpayers who will be sold a job creation story filled with holes.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this land? There are no hiking trails or gorgeous landscapes over the parcel he is talking about. $1/year is a standard lease especially when concerning the land was once his. Look at the Kohler homeowners. Back in the 1950s each homeowner was able to purchase the land from the Kohler Co for how much? That's right, $1. It is a minimum transaction amount required by law. You can belly ache about the destruction of pristine land and I will likely agree with you, but at least know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Pardon, but you're the one who doesn't know WTF what you are talking about. The state park land in question, both the proposal last year and the current one, involves property that Kohler never owned, his parcels were not contiguous and the land in question was never Kohler property but was bought fee title by the state. Check it out. The $1 a year, 99-year lease sweetheart proposal is nothing more than the Kohler co. wanting to take advantage of taxpayers and Walker paying off a large contributor at the expense of the state park. Terrible precedent besides being corrupt.