Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. Announces Opposition to Downtown Transit Center and O’Donnell Park Sales
Says Proposals Amount to “Fire Sale” by County
Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. said today that he would oppose the sale of the Downtown Transit Center to developer Rick Barrett and the O’Donnell Park sale to Northwestern Mutual because “they’re just not good deals for taxpayers and they’re not good deals for Milwaukee County.
“The County is engaging in a fire sale of its most valuable properties,” Mayo said. “The Couture sale price of $500,000 is simply insulting to the taxpayers. O’Donnell Park is prime real estate, and we are taking the lowest price possible for it.”
Mayo, chairman of the County Board’s Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee and a member of the Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee, said he was not satisfied that the County’s net financial gain would be sufficient if the County sold the Transit Center property to Barrett for $500,000. Barrett has proposed to build a $122 million, 44-story apartment building on the Transit Center site. Mayo added that the price for O’Donnell Park, $13 million, is too low.
Mayo also said that a proposed streetcar route to the Couture was a waste of taxpayers’ money.
“It’s not a good deal and Milwaukee County is not better off for it,” Mayo said. “The choo-choo train is nothing but a tourist trap. It will not benefit my constituents, and it will not benefit most residents of Milwaukee County. We should be spending money on the Milwaukee County Transit System, not a choo-choo train that goes nowhere and benefits no one.
“How is any of this a win-win for Milwaukee County? We need to come up with another plan for the Downtown Transit Center, one that benefits everyone in Milwaukee County, not just a developer and streetcar supporters. And we need to negotiate a new deal at O’Donnell Park.”
Mayo said his opposition to the Downtown Transit Center sale and the Couture project could change with alterations to the current proposals but, he said, “I simply cannot support the current proposal without significant changes.”
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