Council Reaffirms Closing of Streets for Ship Yard Expansion

A request to rescind action on a Sturgeon Bay City Council resolution authorizing the vacation or closing of portions of 1st Avenue and Jefferson Street, with conditions, was defeated on a council vote of four to two Tuesday evening following extensive discussion. Alderman Will Gregory requested the action. In an interview on WDOR, Gregory said more time should have been dedicated to considering the ramifications of the street closures, the impact on traffic patterns and the movement of the Bay Shipbuilding yard closer to the downtown business district. Fincantieri/Bay Shipbuilding told the city it was considering purchasing the former Palmer Johnson Yachts buildings off 1st Avenue as part of an expansion plan, but needed the streets closed off in order for the plan to work. The city and the shipbuilder engaged in a series of negotiating sessions out of which an agreement was hammered out. Some of the conditions included a requirement that the shipyard had to acquire the Palmer Johnson property before the process moves forward, that closure of the streets involved wouldn’t happen until after the Highway 42/57 road project is completed, and, that Bay Ship make a cash investment and provide land for “turn-arounds” in the area, while attending to such aesthetics as dust control and fencing.

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