My Northern Wisconsin

Covering Ashland, Iron, Lincoln, Oneida, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Vilas Counties



My Price County / My Northern Wisconsin asked City Attorney Bryce Schoenborn for a statement regarding the status of the building owned by Phillips Lionite Wood Products, LLC.  His statement constitutes the city's position pertaining to the litigation of the "Lionite Building" regarding the clean-up of the collapsed portion of the building.

According to Bryce, "A significant portion of the Lionite Building collapsed in the Spring of 2023.  In April of 2023, the City’s Building Inspector examined the building and determined that it was out of repair as to be dangerous, unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise unfit for human occupation and is unreasonable to repair.  Accordingly, the City issued a Raze Order on May 4, 2023, ordering that the collapsed portion of the building be razed within thirty days.  That Raze Order was served upon the owner and notice was sent to all lienholders as required by law.  Nonetheless, the owner did not comply with the Raze Order.  At this point, the City had the legal right to raze the building itself and assess the cost against the building; however, this option was and is simply too expensive for the City.

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"Therefore, the City commenced Price County Case No. 23-CV-72 on August 10, 2023, seeking relief, including but not limited to:

1.  an order that the owner comply with the raze order
2.  a determination that the building constitutes a public nuisance
3.  an order that the owner remedy the defects within a reasonable amount of time, with the appointment of a receiver, (essentially a trustee), should they fail to comply
4.  an order that the owner is responsible for the costs associated with bringing the action.

"The owner was served, as were the lienholders, albeit with some difficulty.  None of the parties appeared in the action or filed any response.

"The City filed for default judgment, with a hearing being conducted on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 before the Honorable Anne Knox-Bauer.  The Court granted the requested relief and set the matter for a follow-up hearing on December 27, 2023, to consider the appointment of a receiver should the owner fail to comply with the Order of the Court to raze the property within thirty days.  The City is doing everything in its power to fix this problem and will continue to diligently and vigorously pursue this matter until the situation is remedied," Bryce concluded.

With many rumors around the area and on social media, My Price County reached out to Stephen D. Willett via e-mail and phone, as his business address is listed as the contact address for Phillips Lionite Wood Products, LLC.  We asked him who the members/managers (owners) of the LLC are so we can inform the public who is responsible for the clean-up.  We also asked for an update on the status of the building and its clean-up.  We set a reply deadline and gave an additional day for him to reply.  At this time, we have not received a reply.  If we do receive a reply, we will update this article and notify our readers.

In our research, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions lists Stephen D. Willett, at 106 Beebe Street, as the contact person for Lionite Wood Products Co, LLC.  The effective date of registration was January 27, 2016 and the status was restored to "good standing" on April 25, 2022.  Ken Martin, at 115 Depot Road, is listed as the contact person for Phillips Lionite Wood Products Production Plant LLC, which was registered on September 30, 2021 but went "delinquent" on July 1, 2023.  The LLC listed in the court proceedings is Lionite Wood Products Co, LLC.

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(This post was last modified: 11-16-2023, 05:24 PM by My Northern Wisconsin.)
They should let the community take what they want from the damaged portion. It will be gone in a month, cost nothing, and benefit the local people of the community that can utilize the materials