WEST BEND — The city could pay nearly $3.15 million to buy a swath of rural property off its southeastern border for a future industrial park — something city leaders have said West Bend needs but that some neighbors have said they don’t want.
The Common Council on Monday night approved a purchase agreement authorizing the city to pay $20,500 an acre for the targeted roughly 153.5-acre plot near the corner of River Road and County Highway NN.
Closing on the sale could take place in January, and Mayor Kraig Sadownikow noted the final sale price could depend on the land’s precise acreage,
which has yet to be officially platted. The seller, meanwhile, would keep a small portion of property near the River Road-County NN intersection.
City Administrator Jay Shambeau had previously said West Bend would combine the newly acquired land with a neighboring 63-acre parcel the city annexed earlier this year. That would give the city room for a new, roughly 215-acre industrial park — which Shambeau and other city leaders have said West Bend badly needs.
Of course, this is not without controversy. There is a lovely little neighborhood next to this parcel. It is farmland now and contributes to a nice, quiet, rural-like neighborhood. That will change when there are a bunch of light and heavy industrial businesses popping up. That’s a shame, but it’s no reason to retard the city’s growth. This particular site is ideally located with easy access to the interstate, a railroad spur, and across the street from several other businesses that run semi trucks up that road all the time.