Editorial: Time to move on Haas stable site

The Haas stable is an unusual structure as it literally crosses Silver Creek.

Issue:

The Ripon Common Council Monday unanimously approved a resolution declaring the Haas Brewery Stable, located at 205 Hamburg St., a “surplus property,” meaning it is not necessary for municipal purposes and can be sold.

In addition, the Common Council also approved a stipulation that if the property is sold it will be required to stay at its current location.

Background:

Roughly six years ago the city’s Historic Preservation Commission asked the Common Council to keep the Haas Brewery Stable and maintain it, the Commonwealth reported last year.

At the time, the Common Council tabled the discussion and the stable has remained vacant.

“I think we all know that ... without a lot of work, it doesn’t really serve anybody’s purpose,” City Attorney Lud Wurtz said of the stable at last week Wednesday’s Plan Commission meeting.

Ald. John Splitt said the proposal to sell the stable initially came from the Historic Preservation Commission, which wanted to create a Facebook page to promote the selling of the stable

In order to do that, however, the commission discovered that it would need Plan Commission and Common Council approval.

“I always thought it was for sale by the city or could be for sale by the city, but upon talking with [city administration] I learned that it has to become surplus property first, before it could officially be for sale,” Splitt said. “I believe that past historic preservation commissions thought the same as I did that it was just always out there for the possibility of the sale.”

Splitt, who chairs the Historic Preservation Commission, brought the issue before the Common Council last month. At the Jan. 25 meeting, he said it is the only barn or stable over a creek in Wisconsin. Essentially, they will be looking for a buyer that will preserve it.

According to City Administrator Lori Rich, the Haas Brewery Stable is the city’s only surplus property, after selling several surplus properties off over the last several years.

“Typically, if there is an interest in selling city property, then we go through this process,” Rich said. “So there’s nothing else right now at this time.”

Splitt noted the Historic Preservation Commission wanted the building to remain on its present foundation so it could be restored.

Wurtz said the provision to keep the building at its current location was also agreed upon by the Plan Commission.

If that plan doesn’t work, he said the Common Council can amend the resolution at a later date to allow for the building to either be moved or salvaged for lumber.

Status:

The Plan Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission did not intend for the property to be listed with a real estate agent. Rather, any sale would go through City Hall, according to Wurtz.

“We’re just making clear to the world that if someone is interested in the property, there is no impediment through the City Council entertaining that offer,” Wurtz said. “Any offer should be directed to the city administrator.”

What’s next?

The city is free to create a Facebook page to promote the sale of the stable.

Is there an issue you want us to update?

If you’re wondering about something that was in the news but doesn’t have a resolution, send your idea to:

Email: news@riponpress.com

Phone: 920-748-3017

Mail: 303 Watson St., PO Box 262, Ripon, WI 54971

Written By

Joe Schulz served as the reporter of the Green Laker in 2019 and 2020, before being hired as a reporter for the Commonwealth in October 2020. He is from Oshkosh and graduated from UW-Oshkosh in December with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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(1) comment

Kriss Standke

Is it too much to ask the price? Is there a price or is the City willing to sell to the first person with a dollar and a plan? Please don't allow it to sell for a dollar like Alice Callen and Roosevelt schools which now are major eyesores and bring down property values in their neighborhoods rather than increase them as when the schools were open..

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