A public hearing is expected within a week or two on a bill that would set in motion the sale and replacement of the Green Bay Correctional Institution.
Kewaunee County Board Chairman Robert Weidner says he’s been invited to testify at the hearing. The bill calls for a new prison to be built by a private contractor, and staffed by the state Department of Corrections, on land in Brown County or an adjacent county.
“I’ve received no direction on siting,” said Weidner, who has said he is not taking a position on whether the prison should be built in Kewaunee County until he gets more information.
Assembly Bill 292 was introduced by state Rep. David Steffen, R-Green Bay, and Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, is among the co-sponsors. A companion bill, Senate Bill 228, was introduced by state Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere.
The bills have been referred to the Assembly Committee on and the Senate Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection Committee.
A state Department of Revenue Fiscal Estimate filed Wednesday said the cost of the bill is “indeterminate since the state’s decision to purchase the prison, purchase date, location, and property value are unknown.” The report said a privately owned prison with an assessed value of $263 million would bring in $4.7 million a year in property taxes based on the 2016-17 Brown County net tax rate.
The corridor along state Highway 54 between Green Bay and Luxemburg is among sites that have been floated as possibilities.