K-C keeping its Cold Spring Plant open

Posted on Dec 13, 2018 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
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Posted by of Insight Publications

Kimberly-Clark Corp. will keep its Cold Spring Plant open in Fox Crossing in exchange for $28 million in tax credits over the next five years.

Gov. Scott Walker announced the deal Thursday. As part of the deal, the maker of Depend undergarments and other personal care products will keep 388 jobs at the plant, invest in capital improvements at the facility and close a plant in Conway, Ark.

“We have been working diligently over the last few months to ensure that Kimberly-Clark, a company with a long legacy in a key Wisconsin industry, will continue to have a strong presence in the Fox Valley. We are also pleased that Kimberly-Clark is making the commitment to continue to invest and grow in our state for years to come,” said Gov. Scott Walker in a statement.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will award the the full amount of credits if the company retains all of its 388 employees through 2023 and makes at least $200 million in capital investment at the Cold Spring facility over that time. The company can also earn tax credits based upon how much it purchases in goods and services from Wisconsin companies.

Last January as part of a global restructuring plan, K-C announced plans to close both Cold Spring and its Nonwovens plant in Neenah, eliminating a total of 600 jobs. Over the summer, union workers at the Cold Spring Plant approved a change in their contracts that would their lower wages if the plant remained open.

K-C still plans to close its Nonwovens mill, which employs 100.

After the initial announcement, state officials came up with a plan similar to the one offered to Foxconn to incentivize the Dallas-based company to keep its Fox Cities sites open. Under that plan, K-C would have received $70 million over 15 years. That plan, which required Legislative approval, passed the State Assembly, but never made it to the floor in the State Senate.

The deal struck between Walker and K-C would not be allowed by legislation currently sitting on the governor’s desk. Last week, the state Legislature passed a lame-duck bill requiring the governor to seek lawmakers’ approval before negotiating incentive packages in an attempt to curtail the authority of Gov.-elect Tony Evers, who beat Walker in the November gubernatorial election. Evers has asked Walker to veto the bill.