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Late night for Green Bay City Council; several items voted on

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Posted at 1:46 AM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 20:48:04-04

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Late Tuesday night Green Bay city leaders decided what to do with most of the 5.3 million dollars in excess stadium tax money. For years a portion of sales tax was collected in Brown County to help renovate Lambeau Field but too much was collected. And now Green Bay is reaping the benefits.

It was a tough decision for Green Bay aldermen and women to agree on. They had to come up with a game plan of what to do with just over 5-million dollars that wasn't there just a year ago.

"I think the outcome is what the people were looking for," says Tom Dewane the Green Bay Council President.

"I think it's going to have a pretty decent impact in this community," adds Alderman Bill Galvin of District 4.

Proposals were voted on and Green Bay’s Mayor Jim Schmitt even cast a tie breaking vote on three of them. Collectively they decided the majority of the money, about 3-million dollars, would go towards infrastructure improvements across the city.

"Not just roads but storm sewers, railroad crossings, park projects. Things like that," says Alderman Galvin.

Another fifth of the excess tax money will be going towards projects yet to be determined.

"The other one million is going to be for economic development and that's going to be by a committee that I put together," adds Council President Dewane.

The economic development project is so undetermined at this point they're asking the public to weigh in with ideas.

"You know if anyone’s got an idea submit it, don't hesitate you've got 30 days to get it done," says Galvin.

And the last big expenditure totally another million dollars, will be used to pay off some city debt. It’s estimated to save nearly 200-thousand dollars in interest alone by paying it off early.

"It benefits everybody. Everybody gets a piece of the pie," says Dewane.

And while it seems like the excess tax money is gone before it was even counted, hopefully Green Bay can enjoy it’s soon to be upgrades for decades to come.

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Green bay city council members debated early into Wednesday morning.

The council wrapped up discussion on several key issues affecting the city, around 2:30 a.m. 

 

Excess Stadium Sales Tax

The council voted to deny a motion that would give $2 million of excess Lambeau sales tax back to the city's property tax owners. 

Mayor Jim Schmitt was the tie breaker in the vote. 

Several homeowners attended the meeting to speak out on the issue. 

The city council debated into the early morning hours on how to use this money. 

The council voted to use $2.8 million for infrastructure, $1 million for economic development and $300,000 for lead pipe replacement. 

 

Alderman Chris Wery's ethics violation 

The city council also decided on possible disciplinary action against Alderman Chris Wery. 
 
Wery was accused of using his position as a temporary worker at a bank, to look at his opponent, Debbie Jacque's, financial records during the election.
 
The council did read a letter of disapproval and also received and placed on file, a finding of wrong doing from the city's ethics board. 
 
"It's done now. They felt they must have had to do some kind of statement, which they did," explained Alderman Wery." I didn't feel that was needed at all since it didn't fall within our ethics ordinance one bit. They overstepped their bounds." 
 
In the end the council asked that Wery refrain from similar behavior in the future.