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KENOSHA ⏤ Tonight, the Common Council will discuss and potentially approve the city’s agreement with New Kenosha, LLC to develop the Downtown ⏤ along with inclusionary provisions.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. Those wanting to listen in on the virtual meeting can do so through a telephone connection. Call 312-626-6799 or 646-558-8656 and use the Meeting ID 953 6714 6154.

While the project is grand in scope ⏤ including a new city hall, performing arts center and more ⏤ it also contains provisions to include minority- and women-owned businesses.

Section 15 provisions

The newly-created Section 15 of the development agreement the council will discuss tonight highlights some of these provisions.

Focusing on minority-owned (MBEs) and women-owned businesses (WBEs), it also contains a clause calling for hiring Kenosha County residents.

“With regard to Work on the NMOB, the Public Parking Structure on City Block E, public infrastructure that will be dedicated to the public through action by this Agreement, or any Work funded in whole or in part by TIF funding, Developer has agreed to consider utilizing such MBEs, WBEs and labor from the Kenosha County area in connection with this Agreement,” the goals of Section 15 state.

It also includes language ensuring job postings utilize means to effectively reach minority-owned and women-owned businesses. 

Percentages attached to goals

Under provisions of the agreement, New Kenosha must use good faith efforts to:

  • Purchase 12% of goods and services from MBEs, related to the overall dollar amount expended each year;
  • Purchase 3% from WBEs, related to the overall dollar amount expended each year; 
  • And employ Kenosha County residents for 15% of the project hours utilized by the construction, building trades in the construction.

Residents can find more information on the downtown plan and exhibits from the project at https://www.kenosha.org/images/agenda_meeting/CC/CURRENT_SUPPORT.pdf.

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Daniel Thompson is an independent journalist and the founder of The Uptown Observer based in the Kenosha, Wis., area. He started in journalism at the Western Nebraska Observer in 2012 and, most notably,...