UP FRONT: Regional roundup – January 2014

Posted on Jan 1, 2014 :: Up Front
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

» Highway 41 Corridor

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

New riverfront plan for The Cedars at Kimberly unveiled

Several organizations and businesses are collaborating to develop a new neighborhood on the former 98-acre NewPage property overlooking the Fox River, including the village of Kimberly, Stadtmueller & Associates, AIM Development and East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

During a public meeting on Nov. 14, the property was named The Cedars at Kimberly to recognize nature and the historical Treaty of Cedars that was signed in 1837 by the Menominee Indian tribe, which led to the development of the Fox Cities communities. Development plans for The Cedars at Kimberly incorporate community input and provide a long-term vision for the property with construction of a mixed use of residential and commercial buildings and green space along the riverfront.

“We can create more public access to the Fox River and trails that will connect nearby destinations, like Sunset Park,” says Randy Stadtmueller, owner of Stadtmueller & Associates. “A new development will transform this former industrial area into a vibrant, sustainable neighborhood.”

Demolition of the former mill is scheduled for completion by May 2014. A Community Placemaking Workshop will be held on Jan. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Mapleview Intermediate School in an open house format, allowing community members to give their input on the process.

Renee Torzala, director of communications and marketing for Stadtmueller & Associates, says there will be maps, handouts and cross-section renderings to show certain vantage points of sites and building design ideas being considered. There will also be updates on the next steps in the process.

Village of Kimberly Administrator Adam Hammatt says, “I think the process has gone really well so far. We’ve had a lot of great support from the public and a lot of input, and that’s what we want because we want the residents to have a lot of ‘buy-in’ on this.”

He says the process could take five to 15 years to complete, depending on factors such as economic stability.

EAA hosts unit returning from Afghanistan

The Experimental Aircraft Association’s hosted the return of 78 Wisconsin Army National Guard’s Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery soldiers deployed to  Afghanistan for 10 months. This was the fifth time the EAA has hosted returning Wisconsin military units returning from overseas.

The welcome-home event was hosted in EAA’s Exhibit Hangar C on the AirVenture grounds. Bank First National funded the event so the military unit could use the facility for free.

Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Tom Petri and numerous Wisconsin National Guard leaders attended the event. The unit consists of members from throughout Wisconsin and is based in Plymouth. It completed more than 400 combat missions during deployment to Afghanistan, with soldiers earning 14 Bronze Star recommendations.

GAIN provides alternative fuel for remote asphalt plant

U.S. Oil and the Murphy Concrete & Construction (MCC) asphalt plant in Seymour collaborated to provide GAIN compressed natural gas (CNG) to MCC. GAIN, a clean fuel program developed by U.S. Oil, will stage CNG trucks at the plant 24 hours a day to provide necessary fuel as the facility   is converted from burning waste oil to more eco-friendly and cost-effective CNG.

MCC’s plant is currently using both CNG and waste oil as a fuel source and plans to fully convert the plant to CNG by spring 2014.

“We’re excited about this business opportunity as it’s never been implemented in Wisconsin,” says Mike Koel, vice president of business development for U.S. Oil. “We are able to provide a solution that helps a rural business take advantage of the benefits of compressed natural gas, while also helping to reduce emissions.”

Penske Truck Leasing opens Neenah facility

Penske Truck Leasing opened an 11,000-square-foot structure at 2301 American Drive in Neenah in October. The facility will provide full-service truck leasing, commercial truck rental and contract maintenance services.

“The opening of this new facility in the Neenah market will allow us to expand our services to meet our customers’ needs,” says Mike Pritchard, area vice president for Penske Truck Leasing. “We are now able to offer commercial truck rentals and meet the market demand for servicing natural gas vehicles.”

The building was designed and constructed to service natural gas vehicles. The two service bays include a wash bay and a one-lane fuel island with bulk diesel exhaust fluid available at the pump. The maintenance shop uses leading-edge wireless technology that enables Penske’s service technicians to automatically connect vehicles for service with diagnostic and analytic software.

Grant awarded for healthy eating initiative

The Cousins Subs Make it Better Foundation awarded the Winnebago County Literacy Council (WCLC) a grant to sponsor its “Healthy Eating in the Classroom” nutrition program, which serves more than 100 refugees who are learning to adapt to the community. The WCLC teaches English to adults and children from nations such as Jordan, Somalia, Pakistan, China, Russia and Iraq.

“Our goal is to leverage the ‘Healthy Eating in the Classroom’ initiative to increase learners’ participation during class, while also reducing hunger and improving overall health and educational outcomes for our learners,” says Terri Hansen, executive director of WCLC. “Through this program, learners can eat nutritious foods … together in a safe environment.”

The Make it Better Foundation has established three areas of interest it believes are vital to any community: health and wellness, hunger and youth education.

“The families that come to WCLC work hard to become active, contributing members of society,” Hansen says. “We will be armed to help them achieve this goal with this generous grant from the Make It Better Foundation.”

Fox Cities is ranked as WELCOA Well City

The Fox Cities was ranked a Well City by Well City USA, a nationally recognized program of the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA). The three-year effort by volunteer community members established the Fox Cities as a healthy place to live and work and recognized the Fox Cities’ strides to promote healthy lifestyles in the workplace.

In 2009, the community members banded together to help the Fox Cities achieve a “Well City” status. They include Larry Sobal and Wendy Krueger of ThedaCare; Patty Leiker of Lawrence University; Barbara Van Gorp of McClone; Carmen Backman of Navitus; Margie Weiss of  Weiss Health Group LLC; Jason Rieckmann of Real Wellness Fox Valley and Matt Bone of the National Association of Tax Professionals.

As part of the designation process, 36 employers representing at least 20 percent of the Fox Cities have employed population-achieved accreditation as “Well Workplaces.”

Alliance Laundry Systems plans $46 million expansion

Alliance Laundry Systems LLC is moving forward with a $46 million expansion to add 106,000 square feet of space for manufacturing and assembly in Ripon.

The company will hire 150 more manufacturing and office staff to its current 1,567 employees. The expansion will begin in February and is expected to add on-line production capacity in the second half of 2015.

The project received final internal approval after Alliance reached agreements with its United Steelworkers Local 1327 union, the city of Ripon and Fond du Lac County.

“Alliance makes the most reliable and durable laundry equipment available and demand for our products keeps growing, both in the U.S. and overseas,” says Mike Schoeb, Alliance Laundry president and CEO.

Steve Jenkins, Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation president, says the project will have a positive ripple effect in the county.

“The expansion exemplifies how product innovation and reliability creates new jobs, as well as how effective public/private partnerships benefit our community,” he says.

» The Northwoods

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Marinette launches new littoral combat ship in December

The Navy christened and launched its newest littoral combat ship, the USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) in a ceremony at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard in Marinette in December.

Photo courtesy of Marinette Marine

Photo courtesy of Marinette Marine

USS Milwaukee is 388 feet long and equipped with four axial-flow water-jet engines, which will move nearly half a million gallons of seawater per minute and can propel the ship to speeds greater than 40 knots.

The ship was named in honor of the largest city in the state of Wisconsin and will be the fifth to bear the city’s name.

The first USS Milwaukee was a double-turret ironclad river monitor built for Civil War service. The second USS Milwaukee, a St. Louis-class cruiser, was lost in 1916 while attempting to free a submarine that had run aground. The third was an Omaha-class light cruiser, which served through World War II in the Atlantic, and the fourth USS Milwaukee, a Wichita-class replenishment oiler, was decommissioned in 1994.

Littoral combat ships are fast, agile surface combatants optimized for warfighting in the highly trafficked near-shore regions of the world against asymmetric “anti-access” threats. Through its design, LCS can be reconfigured for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures. This versatility enables the Navy to provide warfighters with the most capable, cost-effective solutions.

“Milwaukee’s christening serves as a tribute to this great American city, but also to the hard working people of Wisconsin and our nation’s entire industrial base,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “LCS is one of our most important platforms and represents the future of the Navy.”

See video: Go to www.youtube.com and search “LCS 5 Milwaukee Side Launch.”

SWC expands Gillett facility, plans to hire

A newly expanded Sintex-Wausaukee Composites (SWC) Gillett facility is set to be fully operational by the end of the first quarter this year following the installation of a five-axis CNC machine. This machine will give SWC increased engineering capabilities and a pattern-building tool for its mold requirements.

“Our Gillett facility, which had ample space, became a perfect venue for us to increase our footprint,” says Edward Trueman, SWC president and CEO.

In addition to about 25 employees currently working at the facility,SWC plans to hire another 28 to 35 design and composite engineers to operate the new equipment.

“It makes sense for us to take one of our facilities and invest in it to create a level of competence and performance that will help us grow our business,” Trueman says. “That’s good for jobs, it’s good for the Northwoods area, and we’re very excited about it.”

SWC is a manufacturer of structurally engineered plastic components for industrial markets, including medical imaging, mass transit, agriculture and defense markets.


» The Lakeshore

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Manitowoc Crane employed at Dulles

The Manitowoc Company Cranes Inc.’s Grove GMK7550 all-terrain crane assisted in transforming a Washington Dulles International Airport flight tower terminal into a museum. Amid busy airspace, the 450-ton crane lifted a refurbished radar dome to the top of a tower, completing the project in one week.

Greensboro, N.C.-based J. Wayne Poole was contracted to erect the refurbished radar dome on the tower.


Organizations offer assistance in health care enrollment

Door County health care and community service organizations are banding together to help consumers navigate the process of enrolling in the new federal health insurance marketplace.

Organizations such as the Department of Human Services Economic Support Unit, Door County Library, Door County Job Center, Ministry Door County Medical Center, Community Clinic of Door County Inc. and the League of Women Voters of Door County are working together to help people make educated decisions on the new form of health care.

“We know that change can be hard and we want to help people understand their options and make the best choices for their families,” says Matt Luders of Ministry Door County Medical Center.

Certified application counselors at a variety of organizations will meet with people by appointment to provide support to consumers enrolling in the marketplace. Consumers can begin their research at HealthCare.gov.



» West Central

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Shawano restaurant helps patrons ‘eat smart’

Angie’s Main Cafe/Daily Grind in Shawano is the city’s first locally owned restaurant to participate in eatsmart!, a community-wide initiative that highlights menu items approved by local health professionals.

A coalition of health agencies and county health departments came together in 2011 to develop eatsmart! The program provides free recipe analysis and advice to local restaurateurs to make it easier for people to identify healthier menu choices.

The founding coalition was made up of ThedaCare, Aurora and Affinity health systems and the health departments from Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago counties.

Angie Bistoff, owner of Angie’s Main Cafe/Daily Grind, volunteered her restaurant because it matched her values.

“I have always been all about health and wellness, for our bodies and our earth,” Bistoff says. “I care about my customers as people.”

Nutrition professionals meet with restaurateurs and analyze menu items with specialized software. Registered dietitians make recommendations about changing ingredients, cooking methods or portion sizes to improve recipes.


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