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Wausau council accepts Wausau Club donation


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- Wausau city leaders accepted an unusual donation Tuesday. On a 6-5 vote, they are now the owners of the historic Wausau Club.

Tom and Connie Schuette acquired the club in 2007. Now, after sinking 2.5 million dollars into repairs, the Schuettes are willing to walk away from the project and donate it to the city.

Several council members spoke out two weeks ago, concerned about the Wausau Club property becoming a drain on tax dollars if they were to take the property. Mayor Jim Tipple says that will not be a problem. “One of the things I want to make clear is, we’re going to hold that property. We’re not putting anything into it. There will be minimal holding costs, meaning electricity. There’s no heat in the building. There’s no plumbing in the building, so all we’re going to do is hold it for a period of time, probably two years, and if we can’t find a developer we’ll tear it down and look for another developer.”

The city hasn’t even taken possession of the Wausau Club building, but Mayor Tipple says they do have some interest from two potential developers. “We’ve had two people interested that toured the building since the offer to donate to the city, so we have some interest. I’m not sure if that will pan out, but we certainly have a treasured piece of property in the City of Wausau.”

Tipple says the interested parties have not disclosed what their possible use would be for the building.

It may be a donation, but Wausau will end up paying about $17,500 plus closing costs to complete the transaction. The property will also be off the tax rolls until it is sold to a new developer.

(Our interview with Mayor Tipple can be heard on our website, here.)