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Former County Rescue site to become auto dealership

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

SUAMICO – After moving earlier this year into the village’s new Fire Station No. 1, County Rescue’s former 2.6-acre site at 1512 Sunset Beach Road will now be home to an auto dealership.

The Suamico village board voted 6-1 June 21 to approve a planned development district (PDD) modification requested by Dennis Korpan, who will be able to have up to 25 vehicle sales stalls with six additional vehicles allowed outside the garage area while being prepared for sale.

Other conditions of the PDD modification include:

• All vehicles must remain on paved areas. Additional paved areas may require stormwater treatment.

• No auto bodywork/painting shall be conducted onsite, though detailing-type operations are allowed.

• No salvage of vehicles is allowed.

• All damaged/inoperable vehicles shall be removed from the site within 24 hours or stored inside.

• Outside storage of junk or auto parts is prohibited.

• All necessary parking needs for current and future uses must be accommodated for onsite.

• Meet the requirements of all other applicable ordinances, regulations and reviewing agencies.

Zoning Administrator Steve Dunks said Korpan’s purchase of the property will put it back on the tax rolls after being tax-exempt with County Rescue.

Trustee Michelle Eckert, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said car sales wouldn’t be appropriate for the location.

“This is one of our most prime commercial areas,” she said.

Korpan, whose APlus Auto Sales presently sells motor vehicles in Suamico at 2840 School Lane, said he has no plans to close that location and wants to use the former County Rescue site to expand.

“There are several covenants and restrictions put on by the previous owner that has handicapped this property for its lifetime,” he said. “It can’t be a gas station. It can’t be a liquor store. It can’t be a fast-food restaurant. I think it was a list of about six or eight things on there. It can’t be a car wash…”

Korpan said he has no intention of turning the property into an eyesore.

“We have a lot of restrictions that take care of a lot of the other things,” he said. “We’re working on maintaining an inventory of about 25 cars there on a regular basis. It’s not going to be lit at night. Most sales are by appointment, so it’s… the least intrusive business I can be there.”

Korpan said the vehicles he will sell will range in price from $5,000 to $40,000.

“We’re going to need about 50% of the building,” he said. “That leaves 50% available. We’d like to make it available for other businesses that are looking to start up in town. But I’d have to work with Steve (Dunks) as far as what would be allowed. Those things are going to take time to put in place.”

Trustee Sky Van Rossum, who is a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, which recommended approving the PDD modification, said best uses for the property are limited with the restrictive covenants.

He said getting the property back on the tax rolls will pay for itself and build value in the community.

To facilitate County Rescue’s move into the new Fire Station No. 1, the board previously approved a lease until Dec. 31, 2035, in which County Rescue will use designated areas of the new fire station and pay the village $35,000 per year, prorated.

The board also approved an ambulance service agreement for the same time period, in which County Rescue will provide emergency medical service in the village at $70,000 per year, the same rate the village was contracted to pay County Rescue in 2020.

The village’s former Fire Station No. 1 at 1745 Riverside Dr. was sold to Base Companies, LLC, which is converting the site into a brewpub and music hall.

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