All eyes are on Kimberly-Clark Corp. as Sept. 30 draws closer. That’s the deadline the Dallas-based consumer goods manufacturer gave to the State of Wisconsin to approve a special financing package to help keep the company’s Cold Spring plant in Fox Crossing open.
That plant — along with its nonwovens plant in Neenah — was on a list of plant closures Kimberly-Clark released earlier this year in a company-wide cost-cutting measure. The Wisconsin Assembly approved a bill in February that would award $100 million in tax incentives if Kimberly-Clark kept the plant open. Over the summer, the union at the Cold Spring plant approved pay concessions that would be implemented if it stayed open. The State Senate has yet to take up the measure.
About 500 people work at the Cold Spring plant. The Neenah plant is still slated to be closed and is not part of the deal.
On Wednesday, community leaders from Fox Crossing, Neenah and Menasha, along with union officials, held an event asking Kimberly-Clark to delay its final decision until the end of November due to the upcoming elections. They also asked the State Senate to take up the measure right after the November election.
Fox Crossing Village President Dale Youngquist said the village receives a high volume of property tax revenue from the plant, and if it closed, residents would face higher property taxes. Neenah and Menasha leaders talked about Kimberly-Clark’s long history in the community and the vital role it plays.
The Realtors Association of Northeast Wisconsin also released a statement asking K-C to move its deadline back to Nov. 30, so the Senate can deliberate “in a bipartisan manner” on the incentive package. The request was made, the association said in a statement, “on behalf of the 500 employees who have devoted their lives to serving Kimberly-Clark. An extra 60 days could make a tremendous difference to them and their families.”