Aug 31, 2014

Report: Adams, Southern Wood Counties' Property Values Tumble; Proposed CAFO Site 'Red-lines' Area

Proposed Sand Valley Golf Resort
in Adams County in Central Wisconsin
is in area red-lined over concerns of
massive, proposed Wysocki CAFO
Update: Retired Rome, Wisconsin (Adams County) resident, Patt Pisellini, notes the new preferred name of CAFOs, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and Factory Farms is "Production Agriculture," a term she heard in an radio advertisement this morning.

Wisconsin Soil Survey by the U.S. Department of Agricultural-Natural Resources Conservation Service concludes: "Saratoga's sandy soil is not very suitable for the proposed land use. The report shows that Saratoga's soil is susceptible to blowing hazards, high seepage of sewage lagoons, and high susceptibility to concrete corrosion, among other concerns."

Naturally, the Wysocki Family of Companies wants to site a massive CAFO in Saratoga, surrounded by four counties.

No matter, perhaps we should rename the Wysocki Family of Companies: Sustainable agricultural practices. Actually, Wysocki already has, and it calls itself "family farmers" who are "dedicated to giving back to the community and employing sustainable agricultural practices" on its website.

Wyscoki leaves out the millions of tons of liquid cow manure it gives back to Adams and Wood counties, and other central Wisconsin communities with the misfortune of having CAFOs stuck in their backyards.
"In centrally located Adams County, (property) values tumbled 20.3 percent, the most of any county in the state," according to a new Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance report. (See Logan T. Carlson, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune.)

On the surface, this drop in valuation is odd, considering that the region's "existing (lakes') recreational area developments like the Wisconsin Trapshooters home facility in Rome, and the Sand Valley Golf Resort just begun in Rome will have a positive impact on the entire area. ... Golf Digest suggests Sand Valley could be the 'Midwest Golf Mecca,' drawing people from all over the country," said retired business consultant, Donald Ystad, in an email today.

Indeed, the tourism and recreational potential to existing resorts in the area such in Lake Arrowhead and Northern Bay make this dream Sand Valley resort the type of synergistic economic engine that has people who don't even golf excited.

"We want to help the existing economy," Mike Keiser, often described as a golf "visionary," says modestly in Golf Digest (July 2014).

Aware of the success of the Bandon Dunes golf resort in the state of Oregon where Keiser built a golf resort that turned around an entire region, hard core golfers and recreational and tourism business owners in Wisconsin are gushing.

"A Chicago businessman who turned the tiny coastal town of Bandon, Ore., into one of the world's premier golf destinations is planning to build a similar multi-course resort on sand dunes that formed the bottom of a prehistoric lake in what is now Adams County," notes Gary D’Amato in a November 2013 piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "It would make Wisconsin the best summertime place for golf in the world," Keiser said.

At Bandon Dunes, "Six restaurants and lounges provide the fuel and a variety of accommodations -- from single rooms to spacious four-bedroom cottages -- offer a peaceful escape where guests can relax, rest and revive," boasts the Bandon Dunes site.

Proposed Massive Golden Sands Dairy,
 in Adams and Wood Counties, Wisconsin
Enter the liquid cow manure invading the peaceful, relaxing escape.

Recent area beach closings from manure-generated Ecoli, private drinking wells polluted, and area lakes being added to the DNR impaired list make this area suspect with clear and present potential to knock Mike Keiser's dream out of Wisconsin.

Leading the central Wisconsin counties in property value declines between 2008-13 are Adams (- 20.3 percent), Juneau (- 15.7 percent), and Waushara (- 11.5 percent) (site of the Richfield CAFO in the Village of Coloma). Wood County is a stagnant - 0.7 percent.

"Speaking with our (Town of Saratoga) neighbors in (southern Wood County), the threat of the proposed CAFO has created an informal 'red lining' of homes in the area of 10-Mile and 7-Mile Creeks (located in the middle of the proposed CAFO site). Rumor has it that banks have turned down mortgages for properties there because of the unknowns associated with the proposed CAFO, even with prices 20 percent below assessed (values)," said Ystad.

Said another Adams County resident, "This CAFO is going to bring our property values back to the great recession days six years ago; it's crazy politicians are letting this happen, even considering this. Water, land, private property, what's next?"

The Wysocki Family of Companies, whose corporate officers live safely away from their CAFOs are to blame.

Scott Walker's new "presumptive approval" policies of CAFOs and high capacity water permits at the DNR "appear to correspond to a proposal the state’s powerful Dairy Business Association has put forward for 'automatic approval' of permits if the state environmental agency does not reach a decision within six months." (Diana Jean Schemo, Remapping Debate)

Continues Schemo:

Kimberly Wright, executive director of the Midwest Environmental Advocates, pointed to Rosendale Dairy, Wisconsin’s largest industrial farm and the state’s fourth largest source of sewage, lagging only behind the cities of Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay. "People would think you’re crazy if the fourth biggest city in the state figured in six months what to do with runoff from all its waste" she said.
Crazy is right, and corrupt and destructive to a state once known for its natural resources and clean politics.

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