(Waupun) Waupun has been chosen as the site of the first soybean crushing facility in the state of Wisconsin. City officials along with the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board on Wednesday announced the joint effort to solicit development of the proposed $150 million project located on 66.5 acres of city-owned land in the Waupun Industrial Park. Once operational, 39 full-time jobs are expected to be created with an annual estimated payroll of $2.2 million. The site was selected following a site-specific feasibility study.
Although Wisconsin is the nation’s 12th largest soybean producer, with 18-thousand farmers, it currently lacks an in-state crushing facility to process soybeans into soy oil, soy protein and soy meal used for animal feed. Soybeans grown in Wisconsin must be shipped out of state for processing and then trucked back into the state for distribution to farms.
Soybean Board Executive Director Robert Karls says an in-state crushing facility will help reduce costs for farmers, keep jobs in Wisconsin, reduce wear and tear on infrastructure and contribute positively to the city of Waupun and the state economy.
Waupun City Administrator Kathy Schlieve calls the partnership a strong match for the community and says officials are excited about the significant economic benefits it will bring. Schlieve says the goal has been to diversify the city’s economic base with a project that can be a catalyst for future growth.
The new company has filed an air permit with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and a draft permit is on the DNR website at dnr.wi.gov. Public commentary on the permit application is open through July 11; a public hearing will take place on June 28. After a final permit is issued from the DNR, the company plans to move forward with final investment details, engineering work and plan reviews. The creation of a Tax Increment Financing district is expected to occur prior to construction beginning in 2019, with a projected opening in 2020.