Regional Roundup

Posted on Jun 25, 2019 :: Regional Roundup
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

interstate 41 Corridor

Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago, Fond du Lac Counties

Northeast Wisconsin communities receive EPA brownfield grants

Calumet County, Sheboygan County, Green Bay and Oshkosh are among the communities receiving Environmental Protection Agency brownfield site revitalization grants. Calumet and Sheboygan counties and the cities of Green Bay and Oshkosh each received a $300,000 brownfield grant, while the Green Bay Redevelopment Authority received a $500,000 brownfield grant.

The funds will be used as follows:

• Calumet County: to investigate environmental conditions at properties targeted for redevelopment, focusing
on properties in Chilton, New Holstein and Brillion.

• Sheboygan County: to investigate environmental conditions at properties in the Innovation District and at other sites in the City of Sheboygan.

• Green Bay: to determine if properties targeted for redevelopment have low levels of contamination that could halt progress, with a focus on work at sites on or near Broadway, Velp Avenue and University Avenue.

• Green Bay Redevelopment Authority: for cleanup of the city’s shipyard property.

• Oshkosh: to investigate the properties in the City Center district to determine if low contamination exists that could slow or prevent redevelopment.

Outagamie County sales tax increase set to go into effect

Following wrangling between the Outagamie Board and County Executive Thomas Nelson, the county is set to put into effect a new half-percent sales tax beginning in 2020.

The board approved the increase, which will bring the county’s sales tax to 5.5 percent, only to have Nelson veto it. The board then overrode the veto by a 32-3 vote.

In his opposition to the tax hike, Nelson said it would prove burdensome to low-income individuals and cited hundreds of letters he’s received from people who don’t want the tax. Those who support the tax say it will generate $20 million for the county in its first year.

Outagamie County will become the 67th county in the state to add the tax. Neighboring Calumet County added the half-percent sales tax in 2018, but Winnebago County has not.

Amcor completes acquisition of Neenah’s Bemis Co.

Amcor officially acquired Bemis Co. Inc., a Neenah-based company with multiple facilities throughout Northeast Wisconsin, in early June. The acquisition seeks to make Amcor the global leader in packaging.

Combining these two similar companies will drive significant value for shareholders, strengthen Amcor’s value proposition in the packaging industry for customers and employees, and deliver sustainable innovations for the environment, Amcor CEO Ron Delia said in a release.

Amcor makes packaging for multiple consumer products including food, beverage, pharmaceutical, medical and home and personal care items. Combined revenues in 2018 generated more than $13.4 billion from 245 locations in 40 countries.


West Central

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Insurance company to build headquarters in Richford

Mt. Morris Mutual insurance announced plans for a new 15,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Richford.    

The new headquarters will allow for continued growth within the overall operation with special attention paid to the underwriting and claims areas of the company, while allowing overall space for the next 25 to 30 years. The building will include several new offices along with multiple workspaces, collaboration zones, conference rooms, team member support spaces and a workforce fitness center.

“The new office will allow our team to service our policyholders to the best of their abilities and also help Mt. Morris Mutual attract new employees to serve those who invest in their protection with us,” Daniel Fenske, president and CEO of Mt. Morris Mutual Insurance, said in a release.


The Northwoods

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Marinette Sally Beauty distribution center to close

A general counsel for Sally Beauty notified the state that a distribution center in Marinette is closing and 84
jobs will be lost.

Beauty Systems Group, also known as the Cosmo Prof distribution center, will close July 26, and all the workers will be finished on July 29. Jobs at the facility include 33 order pullers, 16 stockers, 12 quality checkers, and other positions.

The state Department of Workforce Development says it, along with the Bay Area Workforce Development Board, will offer employees job search assistance.

Future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul christened in Marinette shipyard

The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched Littoral Combat Ship 21, the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Shipyard. Ship sponsor Jodi J. Greene, deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Navy for Policy, christened LCS 21 just prior to launch.

“LCS is the second-largest ship class in the U.S. Navy, and Lockheed Martin is proud to deliver capability and added force projection with each additional hull,” said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems. “LCS is ready to serve a variety of missions, and our team is working with the Navy to add lethality and survivability enhancements to meet the missions sailors will face in the future.”

Unique among combat ships, LCS is designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy’s fleet. It offers flexibility, speed, automation and lethality.

Lockheed Martin is in full-rate production and has delivered eight ships to the U.S. Navy. The company has eight ships in various stages of production and test. This year, Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine will begin construction on two ships, deliver two ships, complete sea trials for two ships and see three ships commissioned (LCS 13, 15 and 17).

The Lakeshore

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Robinson Metal announces Manitowoc operations expansion

Robinson Metal is expanding its Manitowoc manufacturing facility and plans to create 94 jobs over the next three years.

The custom metal fabricator plans to purchase a 112,000-square-foot facility previously owned by Manitowoc Cranes. The $2.6 million project will be used to facilitate growth in three divisions: custom enclosures, pipe and vessel fabrication, and fabrication and machining.

Todd Robinson, vice president of Robinson Metal, said the new facility will allow the company to expand its capacity and increase revenues. Robinson chose to expand its production in Manitowoc because of the city’s strong manufacturing background, especially in fabrication and assembly, he said.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is supporting the project by authorizing up to $350,000 in state income tax credits over the next three years. The actual amount of tax credits Robinson Metal will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created and the amount of capital investment during that period.

In addition to the 94 jobs the company expects to create, an economic modeling study estimates the project could indirectly generate 55 additional jobs in the region. Headquartered in De Pere, Robinson Metal opened its Manitowoc facility in 2018.

Aurora to begin construction on Sheboygan hospital

Aurora Health Care received the necessary local approvals to begin construction of a new $324 million hospital in Sheboygan County. Construction is set to get underway late this summer.

Last spring, Aurora announced plans to build a replacement hospital and new outpatient surgery center and medical office building immediately east of Interstate 43 in the Village of Kohler. The location is north of Acuity and south of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sheboygan campus.

“The greater Sheboygan community deserves the best, and we’re committed to delivering just that —high-quality, cost-effective care,” said Carrie Killoran, executive vice president of Aurora’s central region, which includes all of Sheboygan County. “We’ve been listening to the community and, with this new site, we hope to have an opportunity to provide state-of-the-art health care in a convenient, central location.”

The site is a 56-acre parcel located north of Union Avenue and west of South Taylor Drive. It abuts the City of Sheboygan and is owned by Kohler Co.

The company says the project will result in numerous construction jobs and an expansion of Aurora’s local health care workforce. Aurora expects the facility will open to patients in 2021, replacing the aging Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center.