To the Editor-
After reading last week’s editorial by Representative Scott Krug regarding the TID for the town of Rome, I must say many of us are pleased to see him finally jump on the tourism bandwagon in support of our recreational area. We certainly pressured him enough with e-mail campaigns and editorials in area newspapers after Mike Keiser announced his new Sand Valley Golf Resort. It took a while, but Scott Krug is finally on board and teamed up with Senator Julie Lassa to sponsor the TID. And, that allows Rome to help the project which started last year. Representatives Ballweg, Steffen and Kahl co-sponsored, as did Senator Roth.
So, with Walker’s signature the taxpayers of Rome can help insure the success of this project and the growth of our community. Rome is home to recreational lakes Arrowhead, Camelot, Petenwell and Sherwood, the two existing Arrowhead golf courses, the new Wisconsin Trapshooters Home Facility, Dyracuse ATV park and TriNorse ski jumping facility. Rome has been a viable contributor to Wisconsin’s tourism revenue for many years, and these new developments are good for all surrounding communities, and as the article mentions will foster the growth of many related businesses.
How do we justify an 8,000 acre, 5,130 cow CAFO (confined animal feeding operation) right next door in Saratoga? I appreciate that Scott Krug and Julie Lassa recognize the value of our community enough to propose this TID, but what happens to us if this huge CAFO is approved? How compatible will that be with this burgeoning tourist area just two miles away? How impressed will the affluent golfers be as they drive through the middle of the CAFO to reach Sand Valley after landing their private jets at the newly lengthened Wisconsin Rapids airport? How conducive are the resulting CAFO odors to golf, trapshooting, boating and recreation in the Rome area? The factory farm people have a similar CAFO in Armenia and it’s been said the odors can be smelled 11 miles away in Nekoosa.
Take pleasure for the work on the TID, but don’t assume your work is done. The taxpayers and investors will end up holding the bag if this CAFO does to our area what similar CAFOs have done in Kewaunee County, Door County, and dozens of other communities around the state. Finish the job and kill this CAFO project which stands to undo the good work that’s been done.