Billionaire Chris Cline can’t afford Iron County lease payment

February 1, 2015 by WCMC

Chris Cline's North Palm Beach mansion

Chris Cline’s North Palm Beach mansion

On January 30, 2015, the Northland News Center reported that Gogebic Taconite, which is financed by Chris Cline of North Palm Beach FL, had not paid their $10,000 lease payment for land essential for the construction of their proposed open-pit mountaintop-removal iron ore mine in Wisconsin’s Iron County. According to the report, the company is now $20,000 in arrears.

However, Iron County Board chair Joe Pinardi went behind closed doors and negotiated a potentially illegal deal with the mining company to extend their lease on a promise they will pay $30,000 in 2016, basically making their next year’s lease agreement free. The new deal will have to be voted on by the full board in February.

Dining Room

Dining Room

Meanwhile, the January 31 Stella Report illustrates the folly of the situation:

Chris Cline can’t afford to cut a check to Iron County for $10K because his air conditioning bill for this mansion of his in North Palm Beach is due.

While Iron County mining impact committee members shovel their driveways and scrape their windshields to get ready to drive to their next meeting, Cline sips on umbrella drinks in his bar, cutting $700K checks to his political friends.

Or he retreats to his beach house out back, pondering whether Iron County should wait another year before they get their agreed-upon lease payments.
Chris-Cline-mansion3Then off he goes to his private wine cellar—the same one he retrieved his finest bottles from while trying to ply Tiger Woods’ ex with merlots and cabernets from France.
Ah. He finds a nice $10,000 bottle of pinot noir he’s been saving. “I think I’ll drink this to celebrate my one-year free lease extension in Iron County,” he says to himself.
Home theater

Home theater

Then, instead of going out for the evening, he decides to stay in and watch a movie in his private in-home theater.

Then, the toughest part of his day: He must scale the spiral staircase up to bed. That is, if he decides not to use the elevator.
Meanwhile, to subsidize the replacement of that fine pinot noir, residents of Iron County only have to pay a few extra dollars each in taxes next year on their comfortable homes. It will all be worth it when Chris Cline spends that $1.5 billion to develop our mine, as promised.
Thank you, Chris Cline. You are a godsend. If there’s anything else we can do for you, just let us know.   (Photos are actual photos of Cline’s mansion in Florida)

Iron County home in Montreal, WI

Reprinted by permission.

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One Comment on “Billionaire Chris Cline can’t afford Iron County lease payment”

  1. Riehle, M.E. February 2, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    Ms. With: What a nicely done investigative piece to follow up on Stellareport (Cline’s default on lease!). Chris Cline: No, you may not play mine games with the sacred hills and lake, with the sandy aquifer, animals, water, wild rice–this is not a game.
    This will not happen. Go home.

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