GREEN BAY - The City of Green Bay has issued a citation to the St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter for violating the capacity listed in its conditional use permit.
It's a situation that has been brewing for weeks, and now the shelter faces a fine of $500 a day.
On a typical evening, the shelter will see 70, even 80 people looking for a place to spend the night.
But a permit issued by the City of Green Bay sets the maximum capacity at 64.
Shelter officials say they know they're overloaded, but now the city is stepping in with a citation.
Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt released a statement late Friday afternoon. It reads in part:
"The City Attorney's Office has assured me that the citation will be handled accordingly and the court process will focus on compliance and not monetary punishment."
The Assistant City Attorney for Green Bay filed the paperwork Thursday. In it, the city claims the shelter has been overbooked starting December 21st, and "continuously thereafter."
According to the Assistant City Attorney James Mueller that is a violation of the shelter's conditional use permit.
The summons comes with a price. The shelter faces fines of up to $500 a day. Court costs would make the daily total a maximum of $681. As of Friday, that adds up to $5,448.
The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay oversees the operations at the shelter. Spokesperson Justine Lodl called the situation sensitive, and would only issue a statement saying:
"St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter is working with the City of Green Bay in a good faith effort to address the issue of homelessness."
Shelter officials say they are taking steps to reduce overcrowding. The spokesperson did confirm the shelter has a short-term agreement with another shelter in the city to take in about 21 people a night on an emergency basis.
Meanwhile, the shelter is still open for business.
The battle over this shelter now heads to the courtroom. Shelter officials are scheduled to have an initial appearance in Green Bay Municipal Court on January 18th.
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