Final property bought for flood project

Final property bought for flood project

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

The City of Loves Park and the Kurt Carlson family finally tided over year-long negotiations last week for the final property necessary for the Loves Park Flood Control Project.

The city intially wanted to buy the three Windsor lakes and the property surrounding them, which had a hefty appraisal value of $10 million.

Mayor Darryl Lindberg announced Thursday the city will give the Carlson’s two pieces of land and one of the lakes, reducing the price to $1.5 million.

The lakes act as a detention pond, and the water overflowing the ditch will be diverted and flow into the lakes. As they fill up, the water will be diverted back.

The project, which will have cost $30 to $32 million when completed, will ease flooding along the creek and also aids in 100-year flood plains. The project is intended for residents with mortgages who live along Sinkiawic Creek, the main channel of the city, to not have to purchase flood insurance. Insurance costs average $500 to $600 a year.

Carlson said he plans to develop the remaining land. Lindberg said one possibility for the development is a hotel, for which the city has received inquiries. “The land is contiguous with the Carlson properties,” Lindberg noted. “It would be much more feasible to develop.”

If Carlson hadn’t agreed to a price, Loves Park would have used quick-take, as Winnebago County used in the Tom Ditzler land seizure.

Quick-take is a power similar to eminent domain, in which governments acquire land for a public project. With eminent domain, however, property owners are paid when their land is taken. With quick-take, the government takes the land and negotiations occur later.

“That was the last resort,” Lindberg remarked, adding quick-take could result in lengthy court battles.

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