If requests for public input on referendum questions are approved by the Sturgeon Bay City Council, residents in the city will be asked to weigh in on the issues of marijuana use, and what to do with the old grain elevator during the April election. The council agenda for Tuesday evening features items that would gauge public opinion on legalizing marijuana for medical and personal purposes, and whether the city should accept the donation of the 118 year old structure. In addition, voters would also decide if the building should be returned to its old home on the west side and be reconstructed there. Both Mayor Thad Birmingham, and Alderpersons Kelly Catarozoli and Laurel Hauser are asking for the referendum, although the Mayor has wrapped up the answer in one question. He questions the action at a time when there is a significant effort underway to determine how the public feels about development of the west side waterfront area. Supporters say an endowment that comes with the granary, and any annual fees generated, would pay for the costs of maintaining the structure in the future.
Meanwhile, Shipyard Partners, the owners of the parcel at the corner of Oregon Street and First Avenue, where the old grain elevator currently resides, have given the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society 30 days to vacate the property, as of January 4th. The letter from Joe Moede also says that the notice to vacate is suspended if the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society signs a binding purchase agreement for the parcel and makes a 20% non-refundable earnest money deposit on or before Friday, January 18th.