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Wausau OKs soccer complex funding


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Wausau will pay Marathon County $100,000 to buy the former Holtz Krause landfill and turn it into a soccer complex.

The City Council agreed Tuesday to transfer the money from a special fund dedicated to landfill maintenance. The money will be repaid using room tax dollars generated by families who stay in area hotels and motels for soccer tournaments held at the site.

City officials say a change in state law that makes the Department of Natural Resources accept responsibility for pre-existing contamination on the landfill made the soccer complex possible.

Wausau will be the first municipality in the state to apply for a voluntary party liability exemption from the DNR. The initial review will take 30 days but it is not clear when final approval is expected.

Alderwoman Lisa Rasmussen voted against the funding because she first wanted confirmation that the exemption had been granted.

Marathon County's executive committee will discuss pollution liability along with fees and revenues to cover operational and maintenance costs when it meets Wednesday afternoon. The county will likely commit $127,000 toward the project.

As part of the process, the Holtz Krause steering committee, which represents all of the parties that contaminated the site over the years, will make a one-time $18,000 insurance payment to the DNR.