Letters to the Editor: Dec. 30, 2020
Letters to the Editor published in the Dec. 30, 2020 issue of the Tomahawk Leader.
Tomahawk got a deal; county looks incompetent
To the Editor:
This is a letter regarding the recent sale of county property to the city of Tomahawk.
The land—and building—in question is (or was) the Lincoln Industries property along Kaphaem Road, roughly eighteen acres, just west of 51 and south of 86. Although there was no appraisal, I’m guessing the property was worth a conservative quarter-million dollars. Tomahawk got the property for one dollar.
Two immediate confessions: I am not against the transfer of some or all of the property; I voted against the resolution that enabled the transfer.
A core argument for the sale was the old Lincoln County fairgrounds that went to Merrill for one dollar along with a 1.2 million-dollar insurance payout to rebuild the collapsed grandstand. I voted for that sale, but I did so only after prolonged discussion between county and city. (Plus a $50,000 feasibility study, paid out of the insurance money.)
From my perspective, the Tomahawk grocery list of possibilities—new fire station, medical heliport, additional cop shop for the county, etc. — was interesting and some of it plausible. But a grocery list of “We would like to see” is not a plan. We on the county board had no clear idea whether Tomahawk needed all eighteen acres or the Lincoln Industries building. No design work had been done. We had no plan to work from and we had no understanding of how large a footprint the (presumed) eventual plan would entail.
It may be that all’s well that ends well. I hope that proves to be the case. But we on the county board, including the Administrative and Legislative (A&L) and Forestry committees, did not create due diligence procedure. We had a property. We let it go, in a rush, without careful consideration. Tomahawk got a deal. The county looks incompetent.