Broken into three phases, the massive industrial complex will be located along Braun Road between 90th street and I-94 and represents a capital investment of at least $10 billion.
Land Acquisition Could Mean Eminent Domain
Jenny Trick, executive director of Racine County Economic Development Corporation, said site control has been established for the first phase through purchase negotiations. A special counsel is working with landowners on purchase agreements for the other two areas.
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Sources have told Racine County Eye that some of the landowners in the project area have expressed no interest in selling their land, some of which are century-old family farms. Though, if some refuse to sell, eminent domain is a tool that local governments have and is one Mount Pleasant will likely use.
Landowners who sell to Foxconn are receiving $50,000 an acre, Trick said.
When asked if he thinks eminent domain will be used in acquiring the land for the project, Mount Pleasant Village Trustee Sonny Havn said, “I’m sure some will.”
He added that property owners will be fairly compensated. “That’s what I’m looking for, the people need to be compensated and fairly.”
Foxconn Represents A Historic Investment
The project represents the largest ever foreign direct investment in the United States, said Tim Sheehy, president of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce. More than 10,000 construction jobs will be created for the project over the next four years. Once the plant is up and rolling, the company will have a payroll of $900 million representing thousands of direct hires.
Along with capital investments and jobs, many are touting the millions in tax revenues the project is expected to generate. An estimated $9 million in local tax revenues is being projected for Racine County.
The incentive package put together by the state includes $3 billion in tax breaks for the firm, but no details were released on the incentive package put together by Mount Pleasant and Racine County.
“The Village of Mount Pleasant and Racine County have been hard at work to craft a well thought-out, careful, and conservative local incentive package,” said Mount Pleasant Project Director Claude Lois.
Lois said the village is balancing the need to attract the project and their commitment to local taxpayers as they work on the local incentives. Foxconn and the local municipalities have also not signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), though Trick said it should be signed within a couple of days. This MOU, she said, will serve as the framework for, “A very comprehensive development agreement.”
“Our taxpayers are protected because the development will pay for itself,” said Village President Dave DeGroot said.
DeGroot pointed to the billions in capital investment and long-term revenues the project will generate for the village. With an expected surge in population, the village will also see growth in existing businesses and the addition of new ones.
“At every step along the way the village board operated in the best interest of our residents,” DeGroot said, adding that they are “capitalizing” on an “enormous opportunity.”