Posted on Mar 1, 2012 :: Up Front
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer


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


Exhibition center earns design grant from tourism bureau

The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau has awarded a $250,000 grant to the City of Appleton for the design of the Fox Cities Exhibition Center. The grant funds come from the Bureau’s Tourism Development Fund.

The Exhibition Center Board, with the assistance of Boldt Construction, has selected the architectural firm Zeidler Partnership Inc. to work on the exhibition center design.

The design work done by Zeidler will cost $287,000. The total cost of all design and engineering, including telecommunications, lighting, acoustics and graphics will cost $1,284,500.

The City of Appleton has budgeted $3.4 million for the acquisition and development of property for the Exhibition Center. City and county leaders are currently negotiating for that purchase. The target date for completion of the center is 2014.

Payment of the grant will be contingent on The Exhibition Center Board securing a commitment from the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel to operate and staff the Exhibition Center, and the City of Appleton and Outagamie County negotiating an acceptable sales price and terms for the purchase of the property on which the Exhibition Center is to be built.


Ministry takes over sole ownership of Affinity Health

Ministry Health Care is now the sole sponsor of Affinity Health System. The Menasha-based health system had been sponsored through a partnership between Ministry and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare since 1996.

Affinity is a network of three hospitals, 26 clinics, a medical group that includes nearly 300 providers, and 4,000 employees who serve the health care needs of the greater Fox Valley area. In addition, Affinity’s Network Health Plan provides health insurance benefits to more than 133,000 members in communities located throughout northeastern Wisconsin in 17 counties.

Area residents shouldn’t notice a difference with the change, says Dan Neufelder, president and CEO of Affinity Health System.

“Our patients and members should expect a continuation of personalized care from our physicians and care teams in the same close-to-home clinics and hospitals they currently visit,” he says.


KI expanding manufacturing facility in Green Bay

KI broke ground in early February on a $3.3 million expansion project in Green Bay.

The expansion adds 100,200 square feet of manufacturing, shipping, receiving and warehousing space to its current plant, allowing it to reduce costs and streamline efficiencies. The project is expected to be completed this June.

KI’s Green Bay facility manufactures contract seating and educational furniture solutions.

This plant is one of nine manufacturing facilities that KI operates nationwide.


Brown County microloan program passes $400,000

The Advance Brown County MicroLoan program reached a milestone, issuing $400,000 in microloans with the approval of its latest microloans to Stay n’ Play Child Care and The Battery Medic.

The MicroLoan program is available to for-profit businesses of all sizes and in all industries in Brown County. Businesses must be active – passive businesses owned by individuals who are not directly involved in the business’s day-to-day operations are not eligible. Loans may be used to purchase machinery and equipment for the business and for inventory and working capital, down payments for leased space, supplies, insurance premiums, legal and accounting expenses.




Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties


LTC unveils Plymouth Science and Technology Center

Lakeshore Technical College opened a new science and technology center in early February at Plymouth High School.

The $1.3 million high-tech industrial education center will give both Plymouth High School and LTC an opportunity to train the next generation of high-tech, skilled workers. The project was funded by a $670,000 federal Economic Development Administration grant, $250,000 from the City of Plymouth, $100,000 from Lakeshore Technical College and more than $100,000 of in-kind donations from LTC and the school district.

The college will use the center for training programs when the school isn’t using the space.




Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties


WE Energies looks to rebuild Menominee powerhouse

WE Energies announced plans to submit an application this fall to rebuild the powerhouse at the 100-year-old Twin Falls Dam on the Menominee River. The project will improve the dam’s energy output by about 50 percent.

The powerhouse is currently located on the Michigan side of the river, but WE Energies wants to construct the new powerhouse on the Wisconsin side of the river in Florence County.

The project faces a few hurdles, including getting an amendment to its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license. Pending permits,WE Energies plans to begin construction on the project in 2014.




Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties


Rural health program expands into 2 counties

The Rural Health Initiative Inc. is expanding into Outagamie and Waupaca counties to help improve the health of farmers and their families.

The Rural Health Initiative began serving farmers in Shawano County in 2003.

“The health of our farm families is in crisis. By going out to farmers directly, we are saving them time,” says Rhonda Strebel, executive director of the Rural Health Initiative.

The Rural Health Initiative is partnering with the Outagamie County Health Department to deliver services in Outagamie County. In Waupaca County, the expansion is a partnership between the Rural Health Initiative, ThedaCare and Waupaca Public Health with support from partners in the healthcare and agricultural communities.

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