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County gets no offers on New Richmond land

The deadline is past, but St. Croix County has gotten no bids on 18 acres it owns in New Richmond.

Last December an appraiser told the County Board that the parcel -- which was cut off from other "county farm" property by Highway 64 construction -- is worth over $1 million. The land is zoned commercial.

At least one developer had shown an active interest in the property and had asked to take soil borings. But even he didn't submit a bid.

"We received nothing," reported Administrative Coordinator Chuck Whiting Thursday. He said that although requests for proposals were sent out to at least 30 developers, the county got no proposals and no calls.

"It's astonishing," responded Supervisor Daryl Standafer. He said that since there were no offers, the attempt to sell the property "just dies."

Oakridge sale

But in a development that seemed to surprise county officials, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has offered to pay $12,500 for 75 acres of county-owned wetlands in the northwest quadrant of the Town of Stanton.

Land and Water Conservation Director Bob Heise said the "Oakridge property" is surrounded by land owned the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Fish and Wildlife Service. He said 73 acres of the 75-acre site are under water.

"The offer for this property is almost like found money," said Standafer.

The only likely buyers would be the DNR or the federal agency, said Heise. He said the Fish and Wildlife Service offered to buy the land for $12,500 and will also make an annual payment to local governments in lieu of property taxes.

The DNR offered to pay $1 for the property and wouldn't have made any annual payment, said Heise.

The offer still needs to go to the County Board, but the Finance Committee voted Thursday to move forward with the sale.

Correction published in April 19 edition:

In the April 12 edition of the New Richmond News, an article on "County gets no offers on New Richmond land" presented incorrect information.

It was stated the Department of Natural Resources offered to pay St. Croix County $1 for the Oakridge wetland property. No legal or written offer was made by the DNR to St. Croix County for the Oakridge wetland property, according to DNR officials. The statement, which was attributed to Bob Heise, was actually made by Ron Raymond.

The article also stated the DNR doesn't make annual payments on properties that it purchases. The DNR does pay make payments, known as an annual payment in lieu of property taxes, to local townships.