Oak Creek accepts ownership of lakefront property

The City of Oak Creek recently accepted ownership of 98 acres of land along the Lake Michigan shoreline from E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and EPEC Polymers Inc.

The transfer of the properties comes at no cost to the city. The transfer of the properties culminates a six year process involving the city, Du Pont, EPEC, the state Department of Natural Resources and EPA.

The Du Pont property was the former home of a chemical plant in the 1920s and 1930s. The waste from the plant was disposed of on a portion of the EPEC property. Under the terms of EPA and DNR agreements Du Pont and EPEC spent about $18 million to conduct the environmental investigation and to implement the environmental remediation plan.

The city is working to redevelop its lakefront area to open the area up to the public, eliminate blight and attract new development. The city has committed to investing $14 million for new infrastructure to serve the area, known as LakeVista. The infrastructure upgrades will include new roadway connections to state Highway 100 and state Highway 32 and a new public park that includes a lakefront drive, bike paths, trails and other recreational amenities.

Nearly 55 acres of the site will remain available for private sector development. Beginning in early 2015 the city will be seeking private sector partners to play a  role in the development of these and adjacent properties.

“Without the tireless efforts of the property owners, the Wisconsin DNR, Environmental Protection Agency and city staff these properties would have remained as a barrier between the citizens of our community and the lakefront, denying the community access to this wonderful recreational resource,” said Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi. “2015 marks Oak Creek’s 60th year as a city, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this moment in our history than by reclaiming the city’s lakefront and making these lands accessible to the public for the very first time.”

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