Brown Deer and major employer battle over private land

A legal battle is brewing between Brown Deer and one of its major employers over private land. Rite Hite Holding Corporation is challenging an eminent domain action by the village.

Brown Deer wants to turn a wooded six-acre plot of land into its new public works site, but the property owner is calling foul.

At the Brown Deer public works facility, millions of dollars worth of equipment sits outside in the elements.

“It was built about 30 years ago, originally it was a fire station, now it’s in need of repair,” said Village Manager  Michael Hall.

Hall said Brown Deer’s DPW is due for an upgrade. Since the current location doesn’t have enough room to expand, they looked elsewhere.

“The one that made the most sense was the one right next door,” he said.

The village decided to put an offer into Rite Hite for the undeveloped field on the north side of their property. 

“They didn’t like the price, so we started to do eminent domain to get a fair market value for the land,” said Hall. 

“We are feeling that’s not fair, because we are hoping to use that land,” countered Rite Hite Holding Corp. Communications Director Sara Everts.

Everts said this decision hampers the manufacturing company headquarters’ ability to expand.

“We’re not saying we’re absolutely moving, but it’s certainly a possibility because we’re already bursting at our seams so to speak,” said Everts. 

“They’ve never submitted any plans whatsoever, nor have they asked to submit any plans, so if they were to do that I think we would reconsider our situation,” added Hall.

Rite Hite Holding Corp has filed a legal suit, so this issue will likely have to get resolved in court. 

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