After months of delays, a project for a new company coming to the Lake Wissota Business Park is moving forward again.
In March, a logistics supply company began looking at constructing a $6 million plant in the business park, in the northeast corner of city limits, with a goal of having it completed before the end of the year. However, the project hasn’t yet gained approval.
The Chippewa Falls City Council will meet in closed session tonight with representatives from the company, and a deal could be imminent.
“It’s moving forward slowly,” said city planner Brad Hentschel. “I hope this (discussion) will allow us to have a developer’s agreement at the second meeting of July. At least it’s moving in the right direction again.”
Mayor Greg Hoffman said he didn’t want to comment Monday on the proposed project until after hearing from the company officials tonight.
“Nothing will be decided tonight; it’s way too early,” Hoffman said.
Hentschel said he’s confident the deal will be finalized shortly. He believes the company representatives will have a question-and-answer forum with the council at the meeting.
The name of the company hasn’t been revealed. Charlie Walker, Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation executive director, previously described the proposal — dubbed “Project 1212” — as a 125,000-square-foot facility, costing $6 million, and would employ 30 to 40 workers. The total acres needed also are considered a secret.
“We’re told this will help another company in the Chippewa Valley improve their efficiencies,” Walker said.
The City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight at city hall, 30 W. Central St.
In recent years, the business park has added the $69 million Mills Fleet Farm distribution center and Star Blends, an animal feed processing plant. In November, construction began on a $6 million OakLeaf Clinics medical center, and Nordson Extrusion Dies Industries is moving forward with a new, 140,000-square-foot, $18 million facility in the business park this fall.
Because of the rapid growth in the park in the past few years, the county is now beginning to search for land to create another shovel-ready business park. The county allocated $90,000 in the 2018 budget to create a feasibility study, or strategic plan, on the possible location.
The 200-acre Lake Wissota Business Park was set up by the county board in March 2000, when they voted to borrow $1 million from the State Trust Fund to develop the park; the county paid off that debt in 2005. The city built a number of roads through the industrial area. Some of the first companies to move into the park include Chippewa River Industries and General Beer Northwest distributing company.