Debate continues: At least three County supervisors say they'll vote against O'Donnell sale

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- At least three Milwaukee County supervisors say they will vote against the proposed sale of O'Donnell Park.

Gerry Broderick, Willie Johnson Jr. and Patricia Jursik say the deal is against the public interest.

Northwestern Mutual has offered to purchase the O’Donnell Parking Structure and O’Donnell Park near Milwaukee’s lakefront for $14 million.

Northwestern Mutual is interested because the property is directly across the street from where the company is building a new office tower.

If the deal were to be approved, Milwaukee County would no longer be responsible for needed maintenance and upkeep of the parking structure, and it could pay off debt owed on the property and be left with about $5 million for parks.

On Wednesday, December 10th, Milwaukee County supervisors argued there's no guarantee the land will remain open to the public.

"Keeping O'Donnell means that we maintain public access and full use. We maintain the view of our lake across the entire plaza. Both the north and the south," Jursik said.

Northwestern Mutual issued this statement to FOX6 News Wednesday:

“We’re committed to transforming O’Donnell Park into something the entire community can be proud of.  With so many positive developments coming to life along the lakefront, enhancing O’Donnell is critical in making Milwaukee an even more desirable place to live, work and play.

The reality is that the county has to make tough decisions and has limited resources to implement the types of improvements our community wants to see.  We’re prepared to invest the time and money because we believe in keeping this community moving forward. Additionally, selling O’Donnell Park to Northwestern Mutual would in turn allow the county to invest in other areas of need.”

The full Milwaukee County Board will vote on the issue on December 18th.

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