LETTER: GOP reps politicized park in ploy to kill stewardship grant

To Ozaukee Press:

Ozaukee County Supr. Joshua Haas is wrong to criticize the purchase of the

Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Nature Preserve land with American Rescue Plan Act funds. In his letter to the editor in last week’s Ozaukee Press, he complained of a “political agenda,” but it was Republicans who politicized the acquisition of Cedar Gorge by refusing to hold a hearing to approve the already awarded $2.3 million dollars from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship fund.

Had it not been for the actions of Republican members of the Joint Finance Committee, the original grant would have been awarded and this never would have been an issue. Unfortunately, their political ploy was successful and the grant was forever held up.

The Ozaukee County Board, on which Haas sits, had its own opportunity to help close the gap to complete the purchase of Cedar Gorge, but balked.

Enter the state ARPA funds, which were used at the governor’s discretion to fill the remaining gap.

With schools and businesses shut down, many people turned to nature and existing parks such as Lions Den Gorge, located just south of Cedar Gorge. Research data strongly corroborates the extensive health benefits of time spent in nature, and providing another option for Ozaukee County residents via Cedar Gorge is priceless. This is in addition to the significant environmental impact of preserving this land.  

Cedar Gorge will be a boon to both the residents and businesses of Ozaukee County for years to come.

Peter Vander Velden

Port Washington

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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