A Big Buildup

Posted on May 1, 2010 :: Up Front
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Several public infrastructure projects across the New North are moving ahead thanks to federal stimulus funds, as well as grants and loans from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and the federal. Taken together, the funds will provide more than $30 million of infrastructure stimulus.

Last month, Gov. Jim Doyle’s office announced the award of $12.6 million in Harbor Assistance Program funds for the Port of Green Bay, U.S. Oil and the City of Manitowoc.
The Port of Green Bay will receive $7.1 million from the state to begin the construction of a rock spine that will anchor the planned restoration of the Cat Islands, which will protect wildlife habitat and provide a spot for the port to put more than 2.3 million cubic yards of clean dredging from the outer harbor area.

The total project cost is $34 million and Dean Haen, who manages the Port of Green Bay, says he is still working on obtaining federal funds for the project, which is expected to create more than 100 jobs and retain another 600.

“The project sustains the viability of the Port of Green Bay for the next 20 years,” he says.
Gov. Jim Doyle praised the port project when making the announcement in Green Bay last month.

“At this time in our country, it’s particularly important that we get people to work, and this is exactly the kind of project we want people doing,” he says. “At the end of this, we are going to have improved harbors that are going to improve commerce.”

Combined Locks-based U.S. Oil will receive nearly $2 million to help build a $3 million motor fuel loading facility at the Fox River Terminal in the Port of Green Bay. Construction on that project is slated to begin this summer.

The City of Manitowoc will receive nearly $3.5 million to rehabilitate a dock wall.

Other upcoming New North infrastructure projects receiving state and federal dollars include:

» The City of Marinette is receiving $19.15 million from state and federal sources to rebuild its drinking water system. The funds will be used to build a new water treatment plant using the most modern filtration and treatment technologies. The city will also renovate its main water line including its pipeline bringing in water from Green Bay. Wisconsin is providing funding for the project through a $9.7 million low-interest loan from the State Drinking Water Loan Program, while $9.4 million in funds is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

» The Village of Suring in Oconto County is receiving a $270,000 state grant to upgrade its water system. The $1.05 million project involves installing a new water treatment system on an unused well and constructing a holding tank for additional treatment. These improvements will reduce the risk of water system contamination and will provide multiple water sources for the Village of Suring.

» In Waupaca County, the Village of Embarrass is receiving a $167,000 grant to fund sanitary sewer and water main improvements under County Highway Y when it is reconstructed this spring. The $417,000 project includes the installation of sanitary sewers and water mains, hydrant leads, sanitary laterals and providing water service to property lines. The project should be complete by September.