Portage County recently took ownership of 13 parcels in the village of Plover that were once slated for development as the aquaplex, the transformation of a 420-acre golf course and tree farm into a large water-skiing and entertainment complex.
“Portage County is now the owner of those properties,” said Mike McKenna, Portage County corporation counsel. “We’re in the process of trying to sell it… Essentially we can sell and that will offset losses.”
The aquaplex, a proposed $100 million development project which had originally been planned for completion in fall of 2005 before seeing a series of delays, never materialized. The land that had been assembled for the project by H2O Development Co. of Plover then reverted to Plover Development, a company affiliated with New Jersey-based Kennedy Funding. Kennedy lent $2.7 million to H2O for the project in June of 2005.
When Plover Development failed to pay its property taxes over a series of years, the county began the process of acquiring the land through a tax deed sale.
McKenna said the county is in the process of getting an appraisal completed on the property as it prepares to sell the property in order to try to recuperate back taxes.