Ground sinking on county property near Fox Cities Exhibition Center

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Another property attached to the Fox Cities Exhibition Center is having issues with the ground settling.

Outagamie County Jail parking lot overlooking a slope (WBAY photo)

Action 2 News first reported last week the concerns raised by the owner of the Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley. Now, Outagamie County admits the ground also sank behind the jail.

County Maintenance Manager Paul Farrell tells Action 2 News the concern centers on a slope behind the jail. He tells us while it's always had issues with settling, the problem has gotten much worse since the construction of the exhibition center.

"We know that the storm basin right behind you settled about an inch between 2016 and 2017, but the edge of the hill slopes settled much more," Farrell showed us.

This has led to several parking spaces being blocked off as a precaution because of a shift in elevation.

We're told by county officials that Miron Construction, which built the exhibition center, excavated too much at the hill behind the jail and destabilized it.

Miron has agreed to fix the problem, but the county will likely spend $20,000 to $25,000 to repair the parking lot.

Farrell added, "In 2017 we seemed to notice a little bit more, and that's kind of when the pile driving and the excavation work was going on here. We started having some issues. In late 2017 our lights quit working here. We found some conduits broke underneath the sidewalk."

This comes after an inspection at the Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley on February 28, where Appleton city inspectors highlighted a variety of issues, including large cracks appearing in lower level walls, an outdoor patio becoming detached, and the area around a manhole that was sinking.

The owner told us the problems started just after construction began on the exhibition center in September, 2016.

The county's parking lot is on the opposite side.

The county also suspects pile driving from the construction could have made the issue worse. However, they stress at the the moment there is no direct evidence to support that.

"We recently had a meeting with Miron to determine how we would get this fixed up and when it would get fixed up. So we're basically going to put some riprap stone down the side of the hill, get it filled back in so that this corner is solid again and we don't have to worry about it washing out on us," said Farrell.

Action 2 News reached out to Miron Construction. At the time of this writing we had not heard back.

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