Viewpoint: Questions about Heal Creek proposal
Reading the article about the controversy surrounding the sale/no sale of the property raised a couple questions.
To begin, I think $100,000 is a lot of money up here in the Northwoods which is a relatively low income area. Brushing it off as an insignificant sum is a rather interesting way to address it.
One thing not mentioned in Mr. Knutson’s “dream” for the property is the estimated cost to the taxpayers of “turning the clubhouse into a winter chalet” and in addition, creating and then maintaining the network of ski trails he proposes. Since the existing golf course property has been bleeding red ink for years, his argument that the additional winter recreational use would bring in more revenue is questionable at best.
It’s a long way from negative revenue to positive and to think a few ski trails can do that is naive. Rhinelander has never been a tourist “destination”, much like Minocqua and frankly never will be. Tourists that don’t own property here usually don’t stop here on their way north for a week or weekend of boating. The wealth of waterside resorts and other venues (Winter Park) north of here precludes that from happening.
I’m also curious about Mr. Knutson’s statement of joining the proposed ski trails with others by “going through neighboring private lands.” Whose land, and does he have firm written commitments in hand before a decision is rendered on this Heal Creek property?
Another question really not addressed is the one Minocqua expressed well…..will the final result be the property is on or off the tax rolls? Even MFL generates some tax revenue, so I’m curious about that issue too.
Bruce R. Gary, Rhinelander