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Rezoning, brewpub permit approved for old fire station

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

SUAMICO – To repurpose the old Fire Station No. 1 property the Suamico Fire Department is vacating for a new building, the village board approved a pair of motions at its meeting Monday, March 15.

The board agreed to rezone the .587-acre site at 1745 Riverside Dr. from public lands and institutions to business and also approved a conditional use permit (CUP) to allow a brewpub onsite.

The rezoning was approved on a 6-0 vote with Village President Laura Nelson absent.

Trustee Michelle Eckert, who said a brewpub was not the best choice for the site, cast the lone dissenting vote on issuing a CUP.

Zoning Administrator Steve Dunks said the site was used as a fire station in Suamico for more than 60 years, and the fire department is moving into the new Fire Station No. 1.

“The property was sold conditioned upon the rezone and conditional use to allow the brewpub,” he said.

Last November, the board approved selling the property to Base Companies, LLC, for $350,000.

The company, which is located in the Rail Yard Innovation District in Green Bay, has indicated it plans on converting the site into a brewery and music hall.

Dunks said the surrounding properties are used for business purposes, so it makes sense to also zone the site for that use.

He said onsite parking was an issue for the property, but the village collaborated with two area businesses to construct two public use parking lots, because most businesses lack onsite parking in the area.

Dunks said the rezoning and brewpub CUP were unanimously recommended by the village’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

The village last summer sought proposals from interested buyers to submit a business plan to outline their proposed use for the parcel, which was appraised at $325,000 in 2018.

The existing building is approximately 5,520 square feet and has four drive-through vehicle bays.

The new Fire Station No. 1 was built on a 1.9-acre site at the intersection of West Deerfield Lane and Riverside Drive, and has more than 20,000 square feet with two stories and six apparatus bays.

Saputo sponsorship

In other action, the board approved a sponsorship agreement with Saputo Cheese USA, Inc., contingent upon final review from the village’s legal counsel and insurance provider.

Last year, Saputo announced its intention to donate $50,000 to cover the cost of glass doors and exercise equipment in the new Fire Station No. 1.

The agreement states $25,000 of the sponsorship fee will be paid by Saputo within 30 days following the agreement being executed, with the second installment of $25,000 paid one year after payment of the first installment.

The budget in the agreement includes approximate costs of $25,000 for the glass doors, $15,000 for exercise equipment, $5,000 for fitness center construction and another $5,000 for a monument sign.

Village Administrator Alex Kaker said “legalese” in the agreement needs to be cleaned up.

“Those types of things need to be cleaned up, but other than that, everything looks good,” he said.

Kaker said Saputo employees would be allowed to use the new station’s classroom, contingent upon approval from the fire chief, but not the fitness room.

The agreement’s partnership between the Suamico Fire Department and Saputo Cheese also includes having Saputo’s logo prominently displayed in the fitness room to recognize the company’s core values promoting healthy living.

In addition, the training/community room located near the front lobby will be named after Saputo Cheese with a plaque, while another plaque in the front lobby will list the company as a “platinum sponsor.”

A final provision in the partnership calls for representatives from Saputo to attend the next three annual open houses in October to talk about how the company promotes healthy living initiatives through its grants.

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