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Schuette has the background to excel in development

By Ben Rodgers

Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – The director of community development for Ashwaubenon has a difficult job, but he also has the expertise bridge any gaps.

Aaron Schuette started at the end of June after 17 years as principal planner for Brown County.

“This is a chance for me to see some immediate results and work with a community that is focused on redevelopment and new development the right way,” Schuette said.

As part of his old job Schuette did numerous comprehensive plans for communities like Eaton, Suamico, Howard, De Pere, Rockland, Pualski and Wrightstown.

But the thing about comprehensive plans is they extend roughly 20 years into the future.

When he started to cycle around to the same communities for new plans, he knew it was time for a career change.

“I met so many fantastic people but it got to a point where I felt I wasn’t fresh to the communities anymore,” Schuette said. “You can only have so many new ideas.”

As director of community development he can now work on short-term goals in a vibrant community.

“I equate it to surfing a tidal wave,” he said. “You hold on, try to steer things the best you can and at the end of the day you hopefully get a 10 when the judges score it.”

One of the things he likes about Ashwaubenon is that the village’s approach to recycle land, instead of develop on new land.

This is a more expensive on the front end, but the utilities and infrastructure are mostly in place, which makes developments easier.

Now that Schuette isn’t looking 20 years into the future he has some closer-to-fruition plans for the village.

“We need to make sure we develop as a community to make people and businesses say ‘We want to be here, want want to live here and we want our kids to go to Ashwaubenon schools,’” he said.

To accomplish that he wants to build off the momentum generated by TitletownTech, the new development in Titletown from the Green Bay Packers that focuses on technology and innovation.

Schuette said it’s a fantastic idea, but now the village needs to respond and provide housing and business space for those groups in order to entice them to stay in the village.

Another concern he sees is the need for senior housing.

“What we find is when people move to Ashwaubenon they don’t leave,” he said.

Attracting senior housing developments could free up some home space and allow more young people to get a starter home.

“We have a great supply of affordable housing in the community but it’s all being used,” he said.   

A major part of Schuette’s previous job was working with people in communities to make sure their needs were being met.

Now that he is in Ashwaubenon he doesn’t want that to stop.

People are welcome to reach out to him and express their concerns or wants.

Schuette can be reached at [email protected] or through his direct line, which is 920-593-4405.

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