Letter reveals RDA's initiative to move coal piles out of Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Moving the coal piles out of Downtown Green Bay has been talked about for years, but a letter obtained by Action 2 News shows city leaders might be to acting on a solution.

In February, we told you about the city’s initial plan to move the C. Reiss Coal Company’s piles to the former Pulliam Power Plant, but the city didn’t offer very many details.

However, a recently obtained document by Action 2 News shows the city’s Redevelopment Authority is willing to take lead on the plan to move the coal piles.

“What the RDA saw is that these are the type of projects the Redevelopment Authority can play a role in because they can look to acquire property, transfer property and really they were
designed to rehabilitate blight,” said Kevin Vonck, Green Bay’s Development Director.

In the letter of intent, the chair of the RDA said they would like to purchase the Pulliam Plant property, located at the mouth of the Fox River, from Wisconsin Public Service Corporation.
At the same time, the RDA would also purchase the land just south of Mason Street where the coal piles are located right now.

The RDA would then work with all parties involved to relocate C. Reiss Operations to the Pulliam Plant and make sure they have sufficient land and infrastructure.

“If there is an opportunity for us to really own both properties at the same time, we could allow that transfer to happen,” said Vonck. “And obviously work with other parties because there's lots of room out there to develop other facilities and there is lots of room at the C. Reiss site to look at some other improvements.”

Vonck said with about 40 acres along the Fox River, there are a lot of options.

“How do we make that transition from entertainment district, down to industrial district, how do we make that blend?“ said Vonck. “It’s almost 40 acres there, so we Rae confident we could reach upwards of $100 million dollars’ worth of different type of development.”

In the letter, nothing is set in stone but Vonck said it keeps the ball moving forward.

“The RDA wanted to state their intentions clearly. We are willing to be a conduit to make this happen, just because there are so many pieces that move around, we could be a good entity to be the glue that holds it together and makes things happen,” said Vonck.

Action 2 News also asked for documents pertaining to negotiations, but those open records requests were denied because the Deputy City Attorney Joanne Bungert wrote, “The release of the records requested could be detrimental to the City's bargaining and negotiating position and the outcome of such public business and therefore a public interest favoring non-disclosure exists.”