LETTER: It was wrong to use pandemic funds to buy Cedar Gorge land

To Ozaukee Press:

This letter is in response to the Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Nature Preserve purchase. It is concerning to me how this purchase was made.

  The State of Wisconsin provided $2.3 million of American Rescue Plan Act

(ARPA) money for the purchase of the nature preserve land. A member of the state Assembly who represents a small portion of southern Ozaukee County and northern Milwaukee County met with state officials to help secure these funds for this purchase. Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs is outside of this representative’s district.

What were the ARPA funds intended for? According to the fact sheet posted at Whitehouse.gov, ARPA will “build a bridge to an equitable economic recovery and immediately reduce child poverty,

deliver immediate relief to American families bearing the brunt of this crisis and support communities that are struggling in the wake of Covid-19.”

Ozaukee County has worked carefully to decide how the county’s share of ARPA funds will be dispersed. A $5 million portion of the money will be used toassist fire and EMS services across the county.   Earlier this year, Ozaukee County met with charities and non-profit organizations to discuss funding that they need in order to serve people who live in the county. Many shared great ideas that all deserve funding. Unfortunately, there is not enough ARPA funding available for every worthy  project and organization.

One has to ask—why spend $2.3 million to buy land that will serve so few from Ozaukee County when there are so many struggling in our county?

The purchase of Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs has been used as a political tool by the state of Wisconsin and now has come to a conclusion with the state using federal taxpayer money that was supposed to help those in need.

I respectfully ask that as you walk through the Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs park and enjoy the views of Lake Michigan, please remember that there is a family going hungry, a resident in need of medical attention who will not get the response time necessary to save their life, someone who is struggling with domestic abuse and someone who is working extra hours to make their ends meet.

Please keep these individuals in mind when you visit this park and ask yourself: Was the price worth it when this taxpayer money should have been used to help the struggling taxpayers, not a political agenda?

Joshua Haas

District 2 Supervisor

Ozaukee County



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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
(262) 284-3494


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