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Massive downtown coal piles, affordable housing units gaining White House attention

Green Bay "in line" with Brown County, state and federal officials to move coal piles away from downtown area.
Green Bay coal piles
Posted at 6:54 AM, Apr 19, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — White House officials get a sneak peek into a new affordable housing development and plans to move coal piles away from downtown Green Bay.

  • Video shows the city's newest affordable housing development and the massive coal piles that Washington officials visited Thursday.
  • White House Senior Advisor, Tom Perez, toured the facility and visited the coal piles located near the downtown area. The city has been in talks at the county, state and federal level to move the piles.

  • Some funding for the affordable housing developments and potential coal pile removal have been from the federal level.
  • Mayor Eric Genrich credits Biden Administration for money earned from the American Rescue Plan Act.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Local officials started the day introducing Senior White House Advisor, Tom Perez, to citywide efforts on affordable housing

"We're going to continue to build, build, build," Perez said.

Perez and other officials toured the City East Center, a three-story federally-funded affordable housing development.

It includes 43 apartments — 36 of them for people on the brink of homelessness or living close to the poverty line.

"The authentic partnerships that I see here in this community are truly remarkable," Perez said.

The building's first floor will be office spaces for Brown County United Way, a community resource group.

"It will create a new collaborative space to bring services programming and resources to both city east residents and residents to the surrounding neighborhood," Robyn Davis, Brown County United Way President and CEO, said.
Perez then got a closer look at another project — Plans to move massive coal piles away from downtown Green Bay.

The city and Brown County plan to expand the Pulliam Power Plant at the Port of Green Bay in hopes of moving the piles there.

Mayor Eric Genrich says local and federal officials are in line to make it happen.

"One thing that separates successful from unsuccessful projects is that level of collaboration and that's what we're looking for," Perez said.

Once moved mayor Genrich says the goal is to use the space for mixed-use development.

The city still needs to collect more than $20 million for the $53 million expansion.

"If everyone isn't rowing together then chances are you're not going get those opportunities," Perez said.

It's unclear when the piles could be moved as the project waits on grant dollars for the Pulliam Plant expansion.

As for the City East Center, developers expect it to open on July 31 and they're already accepting calls for tenants.