Here’s another example of the many ways that government regulations inflate the cost for taxpayers.
Members of the Washington County Transportation Committee voted Tuesday morning against a request by the Sheboygan Snowmobile Club to run a trail through the property.
County Highway Commissioner Tom Wondra told the committee that the property in question isn’t just any property.
“When Highway H was reconstructed, we had to buy these 21 acres to meet wetland mitigation requirements,” Wondra said. “In 2011, we paid $160,188 for the land but since then, we’ve had to sink more money into it so that now we have about $500,000 invested in it.”
The additional expenses were incurred for developing the wetlands along Stony Creek that included removing debris from the stream, taking out a footbridge, controlling erosion, salvaging topsoil, tree and shrub planting, and the seeding of native plants, according to a report Wondra included in a packet of information as background for Tuesday morning’s meeting.
As part of the wetland mitigation, the county is required to control the amount of invasive nonnative plants on the property and to encourage the restoration of prairie plants native to the area.
“Controlling the invasive species has been a challenge, but we have been battling back,” Wondra told the committee. “We have had to buy a specialized prairie seed mix at a cost of $100 a pound.”
So… not only do the citizens and taxpayers not get to use this piece of property that they were forced to purchase, but they get to spend a half million dollars (so far) to make it pretty.