The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

Cudahy Kohl's Site Cleanup Cost Confusion!

Cudahy, Development, Lara Fritts, Taxes

It appears somewhere, somehow, that the cleanup costs for the former Cudahy Kohl’s site are wrong by somebody or someone.


The 2.2 Million dollar cost number in question came from Kevin Fech’s blog titled “Kohl's Site” comes these comments from Cudahy’s Economic Development Director Lara Fritts and Kevin Fech.


This was a comment put in directly from Mrs. Fritts logged in as “CudahyEconDev”.


Emphasis is mine!


“Kevin - The City and/or CDA has no plan to acquiring the Kohl's food site.  As for the contamination, yes, there is a possible underground storage tank according to a remediation report of many years ago.  The City in conjunction with the current owners have applied and will continue to apply for grants from the DNR to remove the tanks.  The estimate for removal and clean up of the tank (if it is in fact still there) is approximately $30,000 to $35,000.  I hope this helps to clarify - please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any questions.  Lara”


And this part was added as a comment from Kevin Fech from an email or phone call he received from Mrs. Fritts.


“Per Lara, the cost is around $2.2 million for the entire clean up”



Here is what we know or maybe NOT know!


A grant from the DNR has been sent in for the $30,000 tank cleanup:


DNR Brownfield Site Assessment Grant Applications Fall 2009, Round 11


Applicants requested $3.97 million in funding for the current round of grants.  However, only $1.5 million is available for Fiscal Year 2009-2010.  Any local government entity or tribe is eligible to complete an application for a grant.  While SAGs do not fund cleanups, the grants do fund the following activities:


??? environmental site assessments;

??? site investigations;

??? demolition;

??? asbestos removal associated with demolition; and

??? removal of tanks and drums.


Small Grant Applicants ($2,000 up to $30,000)


Cities, Towns and Villages Project Name Grant Request


Cudahy Former Kohl’s Food Store $30,000


Notice that was Fall of 2009 the City of Cudahy asked for the money to remove the tank(s)!



Email from City of Cudahy Accountant Bruce W Schuknecht


From Bruce Schuknecht <>

To Randy Hollenbeck <>


Date Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Subject Kohl's site


Just a correction in regards to the article addressing the possibility of a community center on the Kohl’s site.  The $ 2.2m for cleanup is for the lot on Layton & Pennsylvania not for the Kohl’s site. 




From Randy Hollenbeck <>

To Bruce Schuknecht <>

Date Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Subject Re: Kohl's site


Thanks.  Do you know what the total cleanup on Kohl's site would be?




From Bruce Schuknecht <>

To Randy Hollenbeck <>


Date Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Subject RE: Kohl's site


I know the gas tank or tanks would be around $ 30,000 to $ 35,000, as for the total cleanup of the Kohl’s site, as far as I know there have been no formal discussions to my knowledge.




So I emailed Cudahy Economic Department Director Lara Fritts in thinking that with all the talk with the Rosebud Theater people, some numbers should be out there for the asbestos cleanup (Floor and ceiling tiles and pipe wraps) and other things.


I was basing that on this March 30, 2010 MJS article titled “Developer loses contract for possible theater in Cudahy” or this one “Cudahy cinema developer loses control of project site


Emphasis is mine!


“The project's estimated construction costs, including environmental cleanup work, turned out to be higher than expected.  That's made it more difficult to obtain private financing, Glazer said in December.”


I also find it odd that the $ 2.2m is for cleanup for the lot on Layton & Pennsylvania based on the $7.5 million stated before to cleanup the Layton & Pennsylvania site.


From Feb. 23, 2010 MJS article titled “Long-stalled Cobalt project in Cudahy moving forward” By Tom Daykin


Emphasis is mine!


Scott Yauck, Cobalt principal, told committee members that it would still take "a couple of years" to develop the site for retail use.  Yauck said Cobalt is negotiating with Cudahy for a tax incremental financing district to help pay for the cleanup, which he said would cost an estimated $7.5 million.”




Or maybe it is $3.5 million for the Layton & Pennsylvania site...


Emphasis is mine!


Cudahy may also borrow an estimated $3.5 million to pay for environmental cleanup of the land.”


OR just pick a number or throw some darts on a wall.  True it doesn’t say was is being cleaned up or if it is a total cleanup.  One would only know or should know!


Don’t you think the City of Cudahy would have the correct and accurate dollar amounts it would cost to cleanup sites?


Don’t you think these should be readily available on the city development website?


But by Lara Fritts’ own words we have this for the Layton & Pennsylvania site:


Emphasis is mine!


Cudahy landfill redevelopment taking shape


Published: February 23, 2010


“But before anything can be built there, the developer has to tackle the estimated $7.5-million job of removing contaminated underground waste left behind by a landfill that closed 40 years ago, said Lara Fritts, Cudahy economic development director.”


So how can the 2.2 million be the cost of the cleanup on the Layton & Pennsylvania site?


Lara Fritts for the Kohl’s site in email below does give a dollar amount for the asbestos removal in the $250,000 range and the tank(s) price from a couple of years ago of $28,000.




From Randy Hollenbeck <>


Date Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Subject Kohl's site


Dear Mrs. Fritts,


Do you know what the total cleanup on Kohl's site would be for not only the oil/gas tank, but for the asbestoses cleanup (Floor and ceiling tiles and pipe wraps) as well?


Randy Hollenbeck




This is an email from Lara Fritts on July 21, 2010 to Alderman Mikolajczak replying back to Alderman Mikolajczak that Mrs. Fritts was so kind to forward to me to answer my email to her.


Alderman Mikolajczak’s questions are in black

Mrs. Fritts’ answers are in red.


Subject: Kohl's Building




    I have a few questions regarding the former Kohl's building


1)       What is the cost of the building?


The last I heard the investors were willing to sell for $345,000


2)       How much was the asbestos removal.


There has been no solid figure given but it could be in the $250,000 range


3)       How much to remove the fuel tanks. 


The estimate received to have this done was around $28,000 – but that was a couple of years ago. 


In addition there is a significant amount of electrical and drywall work that has to be completed and I don’t have a figure.  To get the best estimate, I would encourage you to contact inspection and have them go through the building.  Hope this helps.




Question from email:


My answer is in blue.


“Randy, why does the city and Lara not have the Kohls building listed as privately owned property?  There aren’t any pictures of it.  Please look for yourself.

Any idea when are they finally going to audit Lara’s time and she what she is doing or not doing? “


I don’t know why the Kohl’s site isn’t listed, but it might be somewhere else on the website or it might be that Lara Fritts is holding out that the Rosebud Theater might make a come back! 


As far as auditing Lara Fritts’ time, that is for another blog.


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