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Sheboygan County ready to purchase Amsterdam Dunes

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TOWN OF HOLLAND, WI (WHBL) - Sheboygan County is poised to purchase land along Lake Michigan to establish a wetland mitigation bank and preservation area.

County Administrator Adam Payne said the Amsterdam Dunes east of Cedar Grove has been looked at for purchase since 2005.  About five years ago a chance to buy was available, but the cost of $9 million was too high.

About six months ago, sellers for the property approach the county saying they were willing to lower the cost. It was announced Tuesday that a deal was reached to purchase the 333 acre land for $4.2 million.  Payne believes the use of state funds, grants, and the revenues from wetland mitigation will pay for the purchase over time.

Payne said the land will not only preserve one of the few undeveloped beach areas in southeast Wisconsin, but also give major employers a chance to pursue future projects impacted by wetlands elsewhere.  When companies want to expand but need to eliminate wetland, they must follow a state statute that requires them to either create new wetland elsewhere or purchase a credit for existing wetland elsewhere, which the Amsterdam Dunes could provide.

A resolution for the purchase will be introduced to the county board next week.  A final vote could come at the board's July meeting.

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