Sturtevant trustees will meet in closed session Tuesday to discuss the situation with SC Johnson and the Willow Road relocation project.
Representatives from SCJ will not be present, Village Administrator/Clerk Mary Cole confirmed.
This meeting comes on the heels of letters exchanged between the village and SCJ that argue whether or not the company was fully aware of Sturtevant’s plans to relocate Willow Road ahead of the state’s plan to make Highway 11 a divided, four-lane road from 92nd Street to Highway 31. To redirect Willow Road slightly to the west to connect with 84th Street, the village needs to purchase 2.6 acres of land from the southern tip of SCJ’s property, which includes their manufacturing plant at Waxdale.
Sturtevant contends that conversations with SC Johnson representatives for the last decade have led nowhere, leaving the village no choice but to file a claim for eminent domain even though they’ve been trying to negotiate a purchase price. SCJ says the village has gone too far, and Fisk Johnson, company CEO, threatened to pull up stakes and move manufacturing operations, costing the area 1,000 jobs.
Local elected officials – including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, state Sen. Van Wanggaard, County Executive Jonathan Delagrave and RAMAC President (and former County Executive) Jim Ladwig – have offered to broker a meeting between the parties. Sturtevant Village President Steve Jansen agreed as long as the meeting is held in open session so the public has the opportunity to attend.
Following the special board meeting, trustees will reconvene in open session for the regularly scheduled continual committee meeting.
Members of the Finance & Budgetary Committee will discuss funding for a feasibility study for an independent school district. This is the first official discussion about the school district since residents voted “yes” last April in a non-binding advisory referendum for the village board to explore the feasibility of Sturtevant pulling away from Racine Unified.
Residents in Caledonia also voted “yes,” but trustees in that village are reluctant to spend the money on a study until Madison lawmakers change the law for how unified districts are formed and dissolved. The statute on the books now leaves the final decision up to the unified school board, and citizens who want to more fully explore an independent school district are asking legislators to change the law so residents make the final decision at the ballot box.
The Village Board meets in closed session at 6 p.m., and the committee meeting begins around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at Village Hall, 2801 89th Street. Call (262) 886-7200.