(Waupun) The Waupun Common Council Tuesday night unanimously approved a developer’s agreement to bring a $100-million-dollar feed production and soybean processing facility to the city’s industrial park. The deal is with United Cooperative of Beaver Dam. A similar plan announced in 2018 with a different company eventually fell apart without moving forward.
City Administrator Kathy Schlieve says it’s all about timing, and trade disputes made the prior proposal a non-viable project, calling the new plan more diversified. She anticipates more stability as a result.
Prior to the vote Schlieve told the council that although they were accepting public comments on the proposed agreement, she only received two emails, both expressed only positive feelings. The next step for the city is the creation of a TIF district estimated to generate $13-million-dollars over 20 years, something Mayor Rohn Bishop says will aid the new development and foster growth in Waupun.
He calls the project the largest economic development to come to the city when it comes to dollars and cents, with the TIF district helping to fund the connection of Shaler Road, opening the industrial district to more business opportunities. The mayor added this is on top of adding jobs, and the potential for future housing to the area.
Schlieve, who has been working to bring a deal like this to Waupun since initially taking on the city’s economic development director role in 2015 and then city administrator a year later, called the agreement with United Coop a [quote] “good fit.” She says while Waupun is known as a prison city, and that is at their core, it is not all they have to stand for. Schlieve says this will expand the city’s tax base and aligns well with the region being agricultural by nature.
Upon completion of the three-phase project, the new United Coop facility is expected to employ 50 full-time workers with an anticipated payroll of $3-million-dollars annually.