The Village of Allouez Board of Trustees is on record in support of the decommissioning of the 120-year-old Green Bay Correctional Institution (GBCI), and has urged Gov. Scott Walker and the State of Wisconsin Legislature to take immediate action to begin this process.
I, too, support the idea of decommissioning and the eventual sale of the 64 acres which includes GBCI property and the 14 acres just west of the prison – prime real estate bordering the Fox River, the state recreational trail and one of Brown County’s busiest and most high-profile interchanges. Redevelopment could incorporate the best new concepts in mixed-use community design while retaining existing structures that have historical significance or architectural appeal. Such an approach would truly embody Allouez’s “Historically Progressive” motto for future growth.
I also understand, from discussion of this proposal, that repurposing of the current GBCI site would require construction of a new state-operated prison, likely in rural Brown County or an adjacent county, with a facility that is privately built and owned (and therefore taxable).
In summary, benefits to the local community and Brown County would be impressive: 1. Job creation, increased economic activity and $80 million or more in new development 2. Increased tax base for the entire county 3. Additional funding to help cover necessary road and infrastructure repairs 4. To create an exciting riverfront destination that will act as a cornerstone in the Brown County area and provide the community amenities young professionals, families, and retirees are looking for today
Decommissioning would also benefit all state taxpayers by addressing myriad GBCI issues: 1. An estimated $200 million in repairs and long term maintenance costs 2. Inmate count at approximately 145 percent capacity 3. Highest number of inmate-on-staff assaults in Wisconsin’s adult prisons 4. Limited space for important vocational and mental health programs 5. Substantially higher operational costs due to antiquated facility design