Wisconsin Development News (click here to read online)
Ken Harwood
Advocating for Wisconsin
Ken  [at] KenHarwood.com

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This Weeks Articles...

  1. WILL intends lawsuit against City of Madison over bird-safe glass ordinance
  2. Stella & Chewy’s to expand Oak Creek facility, add 245 jobs
  3. WisDOT announces $1.7 million to support Komatsu facility in Milwaukee
  4. Dane County committees continue review of jail contract changes
  5. Failed Partnerships And Vacant Buildings: Foxconn`s Wisconsin Commitment Remains At A Standstill
  6. UW Campuses Identify $5 Billion New Construction, Renovation Needs
  7. A $668 Million Initiative to Expand Broadband Availability to Unserved Wisconsin Homes and Small Businesses
  8. City Council OKs plan for hotel on Monument Square to open in June 2022
  9. Milwaukee is updating its downtown plan. Here`s a look at the 2010 plan`s proposed project sites -- and what`s happened since.
  10. 2 Wisconsin projects win Wood Design Awards
  11. Wisconsin has newfound clout in Congress in an area critical to the state`s economy: Agriculture
  12. Epic Systems employees battle management for more diversity and equity initiatives
  13. Gov. Evers, DCF: Announce Plan to Support Early Care and Education Providers, Partners, and Wisconsin Families
  14. Camping World Holdings Expands with New SuperCenter in Wisconsin
  15. Kraft Heinz pilots recycled plastic packaging for roofs
  16. Lumber prices hit record high, driving up construction prices in Wisconsin, around U.S.
  17. Developer plans 46 single-family homes and a clubhouse for the property surrounding Pewaukee`s St. Mary`s Church

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Foxconn could build electric cars at its facility in Mount Pleasant after agreement with Fisker
The Foxconn Technology Group might build electric cars at its facility in Mount Pleasant, after the announcement of a new partnership with a startup California car company.

On Wednesday, Foxconn announced it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with electric car startup Fisker to build an electric vehicle.

The agreement was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Although where these vehicles will be produced has not been revealed, Fisker`s chairman and chief executive Henrik Fisker told the Journal that Foxconn`s property in Wisconsin would be an "obvious" choice.

“They’ve got a factory there and quite a lot of land with quite a lot of possibility for expansion,” Fisker said. “We haven’t made a final decision on that but that’s an obvious one.”

Ken Notes: At what point do I get to say, I told you patience could pay off here???

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Gov. Tony Evers Unveils $91B `Bounceback` State Budget

From An Infusion Of School Funding To A Partial Repeal Of Act 10, Plan Faces An Uphill Climb With GOP Lawmakers

Promising to help Wisconsin "bounce back" from the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Tony Evers proposed a $91 billion state budget Tuesday, an ambitious plan that would boost overall spending by almost 10 percent, infuse hundreds of millions of dollars in Wisconsin schools and reinstate some of the union bargaining rights lost by public sector workers a decade ago.

The two-year budget, which would lay the foundation for Evers` reelection should he seek a second term, includes a wide array of policies many Republicans who run the Legislature are likely to resist — from the legalization of recreational marijuana to the expansion of Medicaid.

The governor would pay for the spending increases in a number of ways, including limiting a tax credit for some manufacturers and increasing capital gains taxes on high-income individuals. Overall, the Evers administration said the budget would increase revenue by $1.6 billion. At the same time, taxes would be cut elsewhere by about $590 million for groups that include caregivers, parents and low-income residents....

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Ken Notes: Will be very interesting to see what the legislature does with this. My guess is that even with the bait most items will not pass and I can not imagine a compromise is at hand so I would not plan on any of the new issues taking hold. Too bad because there are some very interesting proposals....

Also is it fair that press promotes this as "coming soon" when in reality it is most likely not.

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New MadREP CEO Jason Fields is ready to grow the region’s economy, pandemic or not
When Jason Fields became president and CEO of the Madison Region Economic Partnership this January, he took on the challenge of growing the region’s economy in a year like no other.

He’s only the second person to fill the role at the economic development agency, often referred to as MadREP, which serves Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Rock, and Sauk counties.

Fields comes to the job from the state Legislature, where he served six terms in the Assembly representing Milwaukee. Outside of government, he’s spent his career in various forms of finance, managing more than $100 million in assets, founding a nonprofit that teaches financial and business literacy (The Financial Promise Foundation, Inc.) and a venture capital fund that invests in underrepresented business founders (Dark Knight Capital Ventures)...

Ken Notes: Great Interview! We need to develop housing for our service and retail workers that they can afford (and I am not talking about government subsidized housing). We may need to remind every one in the region that if they want great restaurants, hotels, grocery and retail establishments they need to welcome the employees from these establishments into their neighborhoods and communities.

We want to talk about diversity and inclusion in Madison but God forbid we allow a 1,200 sq ft home or low cost apartments anywhere near our McMansion sub-developments, $2,500 apartments, and 400K condos.

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Spirit Airlines announces 3 nonstop destinations from MKE
MILWAUKEE — Spirit Airlines has announced it is launching nonstop service from Milwaukee`s Mitchell International Airport.

The service was announced Wednesday at the airport.

Spirit will fly nonstop daily from Milwaukee to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Orlando.

"We`ve had our eye on Milwaukee for a long time, and we`re excited to bring our unique value proposition to the Brew City," said John Kirby, Vice President of Network Planning for Spirit Airlines. "It`s a win-win because our Badger State Guests will get to enjoy convenient nonstop service to popular destinations, and Spirit frequent fliers can experience Milwaukee`s great festivals and sports scene and enjoy fun outdoor activities just in time for summer."

Fares start at $79 one way.

Ken Notes: Not my favorite way to fly, but will help the region. I sooooo miss MidwestExpress...

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WILL intends lawsuit against City of Madison over bird-safe glass ordinance

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A conservative law group has filed a notice of claim Wednesday against the City of Madison regarding their bird-safe glass ordinance.

The Wisconsin Institute for Liberty and Law (WILL) argues that the city’s mandatory ordinance “undermines and violates” the state’s uniform building code, according to a news release.

WILL explained that by filing the notice of claim, it warns a lawsuit is coming against the City and that there is a 120-day timeline before it can begin.

The Madison Common Council adopted the ordinance in August of 2020, which mandates that all exterior construction and development activity for buildings over 10,000 square feet, skyways, and other glass features, must meet new “bird-safe glass treatment requirements.”...

See Also:

 Can Bird-Safe Glass Ever Become An Industry Standard?


Ken Notes: Like Low E in the past, bird friendly glass will become the standard and costs will come down. Unlike Low E there is no cash benefit to installing it. I included a BISNOW article that talks about the details. My guess is that developers would be much less resistant if a small property tax credit were attached to the mandate...

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State lawmakers continue to gaslight the Wisconsin public about Foxconn’s failed development
Recent news reports have exposed the ongoing contract renegotiations between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Foxconn, related to the controversial LCD factory which Foxconn promised to build in Mount Pleasant. featured several statements offered by Featured statements from state representatives Robin Vos and Van Wanggaard about the project that were identified as misleading and factually incorrect.

In response to a question on whether new state legislation would be needed to renegotiate the contract that WEDC has determined to be broken, Senator Wanggaard claimed “Foxconn is in substantial compliance with their existing contract…” His statement was categorically false.

According to the written agreements, Foxconn is required to (1) build a 10.5 Generation LCD factory, (2) create and maintain approximately 13,000 full-time jobs, with an average salary of at least $53,875 plus benefits, and (3) invest approximately $10 Billion, mostly Area I in Mount Pleasant...

Of Interest to Ken if not Wisconsin:


Ken Notes: This is political football at its worst. We need to make sure we work with Foxconn to cover the actual outlays by government and communities. We need to ensure any tax credits are backed bu actual jobs of quality. And we need to encourage Foxconn to develop any new North American projects in Wisconsin. We do not need to provide them an excuse to fold up their tent and go home. WEDC seem on the right track so lets allow them to do their job -- without pointing fingers... Interesting new image, Globe done fields empty...

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Stella & Chewy’s to expand Oak Creek facility, add 245 jobs

OAK CREEK — Premium dog food company Stella & Chewy’s LLC is planning a $67.7 million project that will expand its facility in Oak Creek and is expected to create 245 jobs during the next three years.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has authorized up to $2 million in state income tax credits over the next three years to support the expansion.

The actual amount of tax credits Stella & Chewy’s will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created, according to Wednesday’s announcement...

See Also:

Oak Creek`s Stella & Chewy`s To Get Tax Credits For Expansion


Ken Notes: WEDC is in at about 8K per job. I like this number and it is in tax credits not up front investment which I also like, no jobs no credits.

I still wish we had a global policy for every new job at an established pay and benefits level. As it stands, we give select new and expanding companies credits, but others offering the same jobs and benefits get nothing. In my thinking a new job is a new job regardless if it is one or one hundred...

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Marinette Marine begins construction of new shipbuilding facility
As Fincantieri Marinette Marine prepares to start construction of the Navy’s newest class of ships, several key leaders were in Marinette, Wis., today to mark the occasion of the largest building in Marinette Marine history.

“Building 34 is a key element to our Constellation-class frigate production,” said Dario Deste, president and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group, during dedication ceremonies. “This will allow us to complete construction of two 500-foot ships at the same time inside of a massive climate-controlled facility.”

The multi-million dollar building is part of the company’s most recent $200 million shipyard capital expansion underway in Wisconsin. In addition to this building, there are several other projects in Marinette. The largest ship lift in the U.S. is being built along the waterfront, as well as improvements to other buildings to facilitate upcoming frigate fabrication for the U.S. Navy...

Ken Notes: I want to see this facility when it is up and running. Two 500 foot ships at the same time.... WOW....

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Bruce Company: Announces proposed Middleton development
MIDDLETON, WI. –Seth Nicholson, president of The Bruce Company, said today the company has proposed to re-develop its Parmenter Street property that houses its popular Garden Center.

The 69-year-old company, Wisconsin’s largest residential and commercial landscape contractor, submitted conceptual documents Tuesday to the Middleton Plan Commission to begin the process of rezoning a 16-acre parcel at 2830 Parmenter Street.

Company officials said they had been waiting for the right opportunity to re-develop the aging Garden Center facilities.

“Re-construction will meet customer expectations in 2021 and beyond,” said Nicholson. “The new store and greenhouse will provide a more vibrant shopping experience.”

The Garden Center will remain open throughout construction...

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WisDOT announces $1.7 million to support Komatsu facility in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced the new Milwaukee manufacturing facility and headquarters of Komatsu Mining Corp. will be supported by two Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) grants totaling in $1.7 million.

One grant supports the construction of a railroad spur to provide rail access to Komatsu’s new facility in Milwaukee’s Harbor District. The second grant supports the reconstruction of a section of Kinnickinnic Ave. to allow trucks to access the Komatsu site.

In addition to the TEA grants, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has authorized Komatsu to receive up to $59.5 million in state tax credits.


Ken Notes: Poor reporting here, the TEA grant is for a Rail Spur and new road construction to move equipment at the facility. Also they received TIF incentives for the project and there are projected 1,300 new jobs with the project, this means the state is offering 45K per job in tax credits. Again I am not a fan of the difference in amounts of credits available. 45K here 8K there and 0 for most new jobs -- this does not make sense to me...

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Dane County committees continue review of jail contract changes

Two Dane County committees will continue to discuss changes to a contract with a consultant on the $148 million jail redevelopment project that would add over $700,000 in fees.

The county`s Public Works & Transportation and Personnel & Finance committees previously recommended approval of two contract change orders and plan to continue discussion in a closed session Thursday at 5 p.m...   ...more

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CBRE acquires 35% interest in flex office provider Industrious
The vote of confidence in the co-working space industry continues. The latest example comes courtesy of commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE who acquired 35% interest in flexible workspace provider Industrious this week. The purchase makes CBRE Industrious’ largest shareholder. The real estate firm is expected to acquire another 5% in the flexible office space provider in the coming weeks to bring its stake up to 40%.

CBRE’s investment in Industrious is a sign the company is looking at the future of the co-working industry, rather than its present. Many companies are working from home these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but when tenants do return to offices, they’ll likely want the lease flexibility a company like Industrious provides—at least that’s what companies like CBRE are counting on. CBRE’s recent surveys show that 86% of its occupier clients, including many of the world’s largest global corporations, plan to add flexible office space to their real estate strategies. Meanwhile 82% will lean towards buildings that offer a flexible office environment....


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Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority: Training, research partnership to boost supportive housing statewide
MADISON – Wisconsin’s most vulnerable residents will be the focus of a new partnership by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and Corporation for Supportive Housing that includes training opportunities, research and prioritized investment.

As part of the initiative, the first of its kind in Wisconsin, WHEDA and CSH will kick off a four-part webinar series starting Feb. 23 at 9:30 a.m. The free 90-minute interactive sessions are open to all; participants may choose a single event or all four sessions...

For details and to register for the free, 90-minute events, follow the link...


Ken Notes: I hope the discussion will focus on what we build for our most needy. Current programs for subsidized housing are not solving the problem. We need smaller units that sit between shelters and "affordable housing". The government has failed to address this, communities fail to permit this, developers refuse to build this and we have the same issues we have had for the last 100 years...

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Wisconsin Assembly unanimously passes unemployment bill

Wisconsin`s aging unemployment computer system will get a reboot. The Wisconsin Legislature on Tuesday, Feb. 23 approved a plan to modernize it, awaiting a likely signature from Gov. Tony Evers.

It`s something that has finally brought the two parties together -- an 89-0 vote inside the Assembly chamber.

The bill waives the states` one-week waiting period before people can receive unemployment benefits. That is needed to unlock roughly $1.3 million of extra federal unemployment benefits a week...


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Failed Partnerships And Vacant Buildings: Foxconn`s Wisconsin Commitment Remains At A Standstill

Foxconn`s Latest Plan Is A Partnership With Fisker Inc. To Manufacture Electric Vehicles

In late February, Foxconn executives announced plans to begin manufacturing electric vehicles for California-based start-up Fisker Inc.

Both companies said the collaboration will "revolutionize the automotive industry." They compared their work to the scientific discoveries of Isaac Newton. And hinted they could even manufacture the cars here in Wisconsin. 

The partnership announcement is the latest for the Taiwanese mega-manufacturer. It follows a string of high-profile announcements that have been abandoned by Foxconn or that have severely underperformed the company`s promises....


Ken Notes: We can only hope that Fisker materializes into something but this is not on the fast track....

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What is Economic Development? VIDEO
What is economic development? It’s a question posed to many organizations tasked with growing the economy of a city or province. There are plenty of explanations floating around but they can be quite complicated. So what better way to explain how to create a stronger city in a simple and easy way than a video using everyone’s favourite childhood medium, LEGO. Learn what it takes to be a city builder!


Ken Notes: Great video worth sharing, of course they failed to talk about the politics but it was made in Canada...

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How NEWMA is Addressing the Skills Shortage in Wisconsin

The Badger State has a workforce problem.

Despite the fact that so much of Wisconsin’s workforce depends on manufacturing, the Badger State is faced with a skills shortage. NEWMA is working diligently to change that fact, with an array of partnerships and programs focused on bringing Industry 4.0 to Wisconsin.

NEWMA stands for the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance. The organization is composed of over 300 members, of which 190 are manufacturers. Their goal is to promote manufacturing in the Northeast Wisconsin region, and it all starts with jobs.

Solving an Ongoing Challenge...


Ken Notes: for my two cents let me suggest Apprenticeship and a new model in secondary and technical education supporting this. We could exponentially increase this and still not make a dent in the problem...

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Tech Workers Are Fleeing the Bay Area — Here’s Where They’re Moving
In 1971, long before the San Francisco Bay Area became a $2.8 trillion neighborhood, journalist Don Hoefler coined the term “Silicon Valley.” There were no social media networks then, no search engines and no e-commerce, but companies like Atari, Oracle and Apple made their homes there in the 1970s. By the 1980s, the Bay Area was ground zero for all things computers, and the region became a worldwide mecca for tech workers and entrepreneurs of all stripes....   ...more

Ken Notes: Madison is clearly on the list! I am a little worried about the places to live for the supporting cast of retail, hospitality, and dining employees. Several communities have typical monthly rent for a one-bedroom in the sub 1k range where Madison is north of this, not as bad as San Francisco but we can do better...

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UW Campuses Identify $5 Billion New Construction, Renovation Needs

UW System Administrator Says 185 Projects Requested By Campuses; Capital Budget Request Only Includes 28

University of Wisconsin System campuses submitted $5 billion worth in new building construction and renovation project requests to system leaders ahead of the 2021-2023 state budget process, but the plans might face resistance in the state Capitol.

Gov. Tony Evers has proposed $1 billion in new borrowing that includes a pared-down list of UW projects, but Republican leaders in the state Legislature have indicated that this is too much spending on construction.

During a briefing with reporters on Tuesday, Alex Roe, UW System senior associate vice president for capital planning and budget, said her office received 185 building and renovation requests from the state`s 13 universities and branch campuses...

Ken Notes: I am a huge fan of the UW System and it`s contribution to the State and our economy. I wish we could develop a way of measuring the "value" of new projects and or develop more public private partnerships for projects. My favorite examples in Madison are the Morgridge Institute for Research and the University Research Park...

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Occupy Madison seeks zoning change for permanent tiny house village on Aberg Avenue

Occupy Madison Inc., the nonprofit organization behind a movement to offer small, portable houses to homeless people, is seeking zoning changes that would allow a 22-home tiny house village to be permanently located at 1901 Aberg Ave.

The Aberg location is Occupy Madison`s second Tiny House Village. The first opened in 2014 on North Third Street.

In October, the City Council approved temporary zoning that would allow a village of 28 tiny houses to exist at 1901 Aberg Ave., in order to provide immediate access to shelter for people experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness ahead of the cold winter months.


Ken Notes: We can do a lot better architecturally, but I like the idea. The real need is for $700 apartments and small homes...

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Dane County to launch regional housing study
It could take Dane County about 26 years to fill the supply gap for renters paying more than half of their income on housing.

That estimate, according to 2019 data, does not include the units needed for an estimated 40,000 incoming households to Dane County — of which 8,000 will earn less than the median income — or those that become unaffordable over time.

“When you`re talking 50% of your income and you`re a low-income person, those are extreme living conditions,” said Dane County senior planner Olivia Parry, while noting those challenges have only grown more extreme during the pandemic...

Ken Notes: I`ll save you the money we need homes for people making 20 to 50K. Simple. Sub 150K homes sub $700 apartments this is not rocket science....

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A $668 Million Initiative to Expand Broadband Availability to Unserved Wisconsin Homes and Small Businesses
Charter has announced plans to deliver gigabit high-speed broadband to approximately 143,000 unserved Wisconsin homes and small businesses, as estimated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As part of this effort, more than $668 million will be invested in Wisconsin, which includes an expected private investment of at least $500 million by Charter and more than $168 million in support won by Charter in the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity (RDOF) auction. You can view a map of the Wisconsin expansion here. The effort is part of the company’s recently announced expected investment of approximately $5 billion — offset by $1.2 billion in RDOF support — to expand Charter`s network to what the FCC estimates to be more than 1 million homes and small businesses in lower-density, mostly rural communities across 24 states that do not have access to broadband service of at least 25/3 Mbps...

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These eight Milwaukee-area developments are expected to open this year, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

The global pandemic has affected all areas of our lives. In the construction industry, projects have been delayed or even canceled. But a number of developments still plan to open in 2021.

Now News Group selected eight developments in the Milwaukee suburbs that are scheduled to be completed this year. The projects highlight the variety of development happening throughout suburban Milwaukee: apartments, condominiums, a hotel, hospitals. The list is not comprehensive.

  • Franklin...
  • Glendale...
  • Menomonee Falls...
  • Mukwonago...
  • Okauchee...
  • South Milwaukee...
  • Wauwatosa...
  • West Allis...

Ken Notes: worth reading if you have access...

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UNIVERSITY of WISCONSIN–MADISON: Startup Gregor Diagnostics advances novel diagnostic technology
Joel Wipperfurth, senior research associate, performs analyses at Gregor Diagnostic’s lab benches within Forward BIOLABS. PHOTO COURTESY OF MGE FOUNDATION

From February through June, we will highlight the ways that UW–Madison powers the state’s economy through research and innovation, educates the next generation and reaches out to Wisconsinites to improve their lives. February’s theme is Economic Prosperity. Watch for more at #CantStopABadger and #UWimpact on social media. Your support can help us continue this work.

Tobias Zutz found himself seeking a new challenge in 2015.

Ken Notes: I love WARF and the UW...

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Beyer Joins WEDA Board of Directors, Advocates for Rural Economic Development
If you’ve heard or read any stories about economic development in the Northwoods, you’ve more than likely come across the name Brittany Beyer.

Beyer is currently the executive director of Grow North, an economic development organization focused on Northern Wisconsin. She also serves on the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity and currently chairs the state’s Taskforce on Broadband Access...


Ken Notes: We need to reinvent our rural economic development incentives. I will go back to an old idea I had. Allow a percentage of local TIF investment based on value and an agreement guaranteeing this, tax credits for any new job with a certain income and benefit level, and training credits -- for ANY new development regardless of location.

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Green Bay Chamber says new business registrations up 26% in 2020

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) In the middle of a pandemic, you wouldn’t assume that entrepreneurs would think it’s a great time to start a business. But as Kris Schuller found out, in Northeast Wisconsin business owners are still chasing their dreams.

At Aurora’s Apothecary in downtown Green Bay its owners sell homegrown herbs and teas, here at their recently opened location...


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gener8tor and Georgia-Pacific Team Up in Northeast Wisconsin to Accelerate Consumer Goods Innovation

NEENAH, Wis., Feb. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Nationally ranked startup accelerator gener8tor and Georgia-Pacific announced today a new program in Northeast Wisconsin to fuel the growth of startups. The partnership will launch 1915 Studios, a pre-accelerator for early-stage companies innovating within hygiene, IoT (Internet of Things) and sensing. 1915 Studios will operate from space in Georgia-Pacific`s Consumer Products R&D center in Neenah, Wisconsin...


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Local leader in economic development recognized
A local leader in economic development is being widely recognized for excellence.  Rock County Economic Development Manager James Ottestein has been awarded the 2021 Frederick C. Pearce Award by the Wisconsin Economic Development Association.  The award was established in 1985 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of economic development in Wisconsin.  Otterstein was also named one of the top 50-economic development officials in North America in 2018 by a national consulting firm.  Otterstein has managed Rock County’s economic development efforts for more than two decades.

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City Council OKs plan for hotel on Monument Square to open in June 2022
RACINE — A $33 million proposal to turn the abandoned Zahn’s Department Store building into the Hotel Verdant is once again moving forward, despite some difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to amend the original agreement with The Main Attraction, LLC, that should allow the project to be brought to fruition. The council discussed the matter in closed session before voting to amend the agreement with the developer. Wisconsin law allows municipalities to meet in closed session for negotiations.

“It is an exciting proposal that we have before us,” Mayor Cory Mason said. “We have all talked about the Zahn’s building for decades and what would become of it.”...

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Milwaukee is updating its downtown plan. Here`s a look at the 2010 plan`s proposed project sites -- and what`s happened since.

Milwaukee is updating its downtown development plan — so this is a good time to review the past decade since the last plan was created.

That 2010 plan, like its 1999 predecessor, included several sites where city officials envisioned major developments.

Some of those sites now house downtown`s larger commercial projects — while a few continue to languish...


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Wisconsin Restaurant Association: Supports workforce development in state budget priorities

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association is encouraged to see that workforce development is a priority and included in Governor Evers’ budget priorities.

The restaurant and hospitality sector has many training options available and the WRA is ready to be a partner in helping develop skills needed to be successful in our industry. Attracting and retaining staff was a key concern prior to the pandemic and will be moving forward as the economy starts to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.


Ken Notes: Of course they do but where does the money come from...

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2 Wisconsin projects win Wood Design Awards
WoodWorks – Wood Products Council has announced the winners of its 2021 Wood Design Awards, which  include two projects from Wisconsin.

The awards celebrate excellence in wood building design and spotlight its continued rise in popularity across the U.S. Awards are an opportunity to recognize building designers for their skill and ingenuity, and to showcase projects that demonstrate the attributes of wood....

...National Winners (from Wisconsin)

Multi-Family Wood Design: Timber Lofts | Milwaukee, WI

DEVELOPER/OWNER: 234 West Florida St.
ARCHITECT: Engberg Anderson Architects
CONTRACTOR: Catalyst Construction

Jury’s Choice: Freedom House Expansion | Green Bay, WI

DEVELOPER/OWNER: Freedom House Ministries Green Bay
ARCHITECT: Berners Schober
CONTRACTOR: Immel Construction

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Cabin vs. campground battle heats up in Wisconsin lake country

SIREN, WIS. ­– The snow lies deep on the lakes and woods of Burnett County, but the temperature is rising as residents and developers fight over an explosion of campgrounds in northwest Wisconsin.

Long a favorite vacation spot of Twin Cities residents, the county has become a focal point in a push by developers to build large campgrounds that critics say will bring throngs of vacationers and damage the natural resources that are the area`s main attraction.

Developers say they`re being painted as villains by well-off cabin owners who are engaging in class warfare and preventing others from enjoying the lakes and woods...


Ken Notes: We need to revisit the policies on campgrounds, mobile-home communities, and neighborhoods to create a mix of lower cost affordable housing with planned development. Other states are doing this with some success, Wisconsin remains the NIMBY capital of the world...

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City of Sun Prairie wins award for Comprehensive Plan

In late 2020, the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Planning Association selected the City of Sun Prairie’s Comprehensive Plan 2019-2039 as a recipient of a Best Practice Planning Excellence Award. Just three other plans across the state were recognized for this honor.


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Materials science is a natural fit for Wisconsin manufacturing
From February through June, we will highlight the ways that UW–Madison powers the state’s economy through research and innovation, educates the next generation and reaches out to Wisconsinites to improve their lives. February’s theme is Economic Prosperity. Watch for more at #CantStopABadger and #UWimpact on social media. Your support can help us continue this work.

Innovation and research are what keep Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector vibrant, and one secret weapon is the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Department of Materials Science & Engineering.

Not only are top materials science students sought after by industry, but breakthroughs in materials developed at the university often have direct impacts on local businesses.

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Wisconsin has newfound clout in Congress in an area critical to the state`s economy: Agriculture
WASHINGTON – Wisconsin has lost decades of congressional seniority in recent years with the retirement of one veteran lawmaker after another.  

But despite that, it’s experiencing newfound congressional clout in an area of huge importance to the state: agriculture.  

Democrat Tammy Baldwin became chair in mid-February of the Senate subcommittee that oversees federal spending on food and farm programs...

Ken Notes: I would love to see a focus on small Wisconsin farms, but ot may be too late...

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Epic Systems employees battle management for more diversity and equity initiatives
Epic Systems Corp., Dane County’s largest private sector employer, has quashed several employee efforts to promote a welcoming environment for employees of color, according to multiple employees.

The Verona-based electronic health records giant told employees to stop holding discussion groups relating to diversity, equity and inclusion during company time; stopped hosting what employees called a popular training session on identifying white privilege; and removed an employee from equity-related projects after the company said it detracted from her assigned duties....

Ken Notes: EPIC may be among the most diverse color blind companies I have ever seen. They also allow their employees a huge amount of input in all aspects of the management and goals for the company. This can present a challenge when employees can become more focused on these issues than the mission at hand. This style of management becomes more difficult when your billion dollar campus sits empty as people work from home. I can not imagine trying to herd this group of the best and brightest, some who may not fully understand that in the end EPIC is a business...

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Wauwatosa Committee To Discuss Multi-Unit Apartment Development

The Wauwatosa Community Affairs Committee will discuss a proposed apartment building on the the former Milwaukee County Food Services site.

WAUWATOSA, WI—The Wauwatosa Community Affairs Committee will discuss a proposed apartment building on the the former Milwaukee County Food Services site, 9150 Watertown Plank Rd.

Patrick Shanahan, the developer for Watertown Apartments, submitted final plans at 9150 Watertown Plank Road for a multi-unit building.

The Watertown is a proposed apartment building with 5 stories and 147 units...


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UW-Madison driving Wisconsin’s economy, now and into the future
Powered by a top-ranked research program, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, its affiliate organizations and the startup companies coming out of the university have a total $30.8 billion annual statewide economic impact, equivalent to nearly 9% of Wisconsin’s $345 billion economy, according to a new report.

Conducted by NorthStar Analytics, LLC, the study finds that UW–Madison is one of Wisconsin’s major job creators, responsible for 232,057 public and private sector jobs—more than 7% of the 3 million jobs in Wisconsin, or 1 out of every 13 jobs in the state—and $1 billion in state and local taxes, putting it on par with major Wisconsin industries like dairy, food processing and tourism...

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Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition receives $385K in state funding to grow tech jobs

The Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition, an alliance designed to attract and retain technology professionals and companies in the Milwaukee region, is receiving a $385,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to fund an apprenticeship partnership that will train people for technology jobs in the area...


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MadREP News
Stay up to date by reading our MadREP Report, a bi-monthly newsletter that features regional economic development news, events and opportunities.


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Investment in Forward BIOLABS Paying Off for Bioscience Startups

MADISON, Wis., Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Forward BIOLABS, a co-working life science lab that helps bioscience startups grow, is celebrating early successes and honoring the companies that support the organization.

While business incubators are not uncommon, Forward BIOLABS boosts support by providing laboratory equipment and staff to manage safety, training, and other lab operations for entrepreneurs to reduce their initial investment expenses.

Currently, 16 startups are utilizing the Forward BIOLABS space, and five have graduated to continue growing their companies in their own spaces...


Ken Notes: One of my all time favorite businesses in Madison...

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Gov. Evers, DCF: Announce Plan to Support Early Care and Education Providers, Partners, and Wisconsin Families
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Emilie Amundson signaled their intent to submit a plan with the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) to use the additional Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) award Wisconsin received.

Congress allocated additional funds for childcare to states through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Wisconsin received roughly $148.8 million in CCDBG funds to offset the continued impact of the pandemic on costs associated with providing early care and education. The proposed plan will be submitted through the §16.54 process and reviewed by JFC before funds can reach early care and education providers and partners.   ...more

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OPINION: Gov. Tony Evers invests $43 million in rural development, to aid contemporary economic depression

After years of empty promises and forced empathy, Wisconsin family farmers may finally get the resources and support they desperately need. The new budget proposed by Gov. Tony Evers dedicates $43 million to rural development in the state. This action marks a light at the end of a dark tunnel for many farmers who have faced growing hardships over the past two years.

In 2017, former President Donald Trump followed through on campaign promises and set trade restrictions on China, hoping to improve U.S. agricultural development. On the campaign trail, he promised to protect American farmers and keep family farms afloat.


Ken Notes: I am not sure this is a "done deal"...

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Economic Development Resources

Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority






Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce Directory


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Wisconsin Community Services buys Employ Milwaukee’s headquarters
Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Community Services recently purchased Employ Milwaukee’s headquarters, where it is a tenant, for just under $3.2 million.

WCS acquired the 57,355-square-foot building at 2342 N. 27th St. from the workforce development board, which will continue its operations there, according to an announcement from both organizations...

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Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation: City of Mayville receives $137,500 state grant to support redevelopment of nonprofit coffeehouse

The City of Mayville is receiving a $137,500 state grant to help renovate a building to be used for a coffeehouse in downtown Mayville.

The Community Development Investment (CDI) Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support the first phase of renovations for the historical downtown building, which will be used by Mayville Open Door Inc. Mayville Open Door is looking to expand The Open Door Coffeehouse from its current location.

“A vibrant downtown is crucial to a city’s overall economic health and its quality of life, which is why one of WEDC’s top priorities is to support communities throughout the state as they invest in improving their business districts,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “This project will not only preserve a historical building and bring new business to downtown Mayville, but it will also serve as a gathering place and foster a sense of community.”


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Camping World Holdings Expands with New SuperCenter in Wisconsin
Camping World Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CWH) (“Camping World”), America’s Recreation Dealer, today announced the opening of its newest SuperCenter in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

“We remain focused on expanding our footprint and gaining market share,” said Marcus Lemonis, CEO and Chairman of Camping World Holdings. “Our inventory teams have done an excellent job planning for the spring season and we have a wide assortment of RV and outdoor products readily available for the consumer.”

Camping World Holdings, the nation’s largest network of RV and outdoor lifestyle centric locations, currently owns and operates over 170 SuperCenters nationwide and a comprehensive ecommerce platform, specializing in RV sales and service, RV parts and accessories, outdoor lifestyle products and its entire portfolio of Good Sam products and services. From new strategic acquisitions, new store development and facility upgrades, the Company’s network will continue to expand and evolve while serving its customers` outdoor, RV and camping needs. The company has five locations in Wisconsin...

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Kraft Heinz pilots recycled plastic packaging for roofs
If this test works and the recycled material is as good as the conventional roofing, it could be a game changer for Kraft Heinz. It`s not clear how much flexible packaging the CPG company uses for its products annually. According to statistics on Kraft Heinz`s website, about 30% of its packaging as of 2019 fell into the non-recyclable category, including flexible plastic films or rigid plastic containers.

The company has several sustainability goals, including making 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025. To reach that goal, the brand is testing a recyclable and compostable paper cup for Macaroni & Cheese in the U.S., and in Europe plans to make its Heinz Ketchup bottles with recyclable food-grade PET plastic...

Dive Brief:

  • Kraft Heinz has installed new roofs made of recycled plastic packaging on manufacturing facilities in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and Holland, Michigan.

  • The food processing giant installed the recycled roofing boards in late 2020 and will monitor the recycled material`s performance versus conventional building materials with an eye to standardizing its use if the test goes well.

  • The recycled roof boards are 4 feet by 8 feet, and 94% of each board is made from post-consumer plastic and fiber. The company didn`t indicate how much of its factories` roofs have been covered in the recycled boards, but it`s certainly being put to the test. Beaver Dam saw a foot of snow in February, while Holland received more than 2 feet, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


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Town of Cable receives $250,000 state grant to redevelop idle resort site
WEDC funding to help support former Telemark Lodge Property

MADISON, WI. FEB. 17, 2021 – The Town of Cable is receiving a $250,000 state grant to help redevelop the former Telemark lodge and resort property located in Bayfield County.

The Idle Sites Redevelopment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) on the first and second phase of the idle resort redevelopment. The total project cost for these phases is $2.6 million...

Ken Notes: I hope we get this done, but it is a difficult project at best.

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A grant to help meet the critical need for a skilled workforce has been awarded to 13 recipients across the state, among them – Rockline Industries of Sheboygan.

The Department of Workforce Development’s $1.65 million Wisconsin Fast Forward Initiative granted nearly $330 thousand ($329,610) to Rockline’s Sheboygan plant, which has invested in additional technology to meet the demands for hand surface disinfecting wipes because of the COVID pandemic.  Rockline will use the funds to train 50 unemployed trainees and 92 incumbent trainees to operate the new equipment. The grant will enable unemployed trainees to receive wage increases up to $2.83 per hour, and incumbent trainees to receive wage increases up to $1.15 per hour after completing their training...

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Lumber prices hit record high, driving up construction prices in Wisconsin, around U.S.

Lumber prices are nearly four times the amount they were a year ago

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Homeowners and businesses across our area are feeling the pinch of lumber shortages.

In recent months, surveys have found that a little more than half of homeowners have made home improvements.

And Wisconsin, like many other places. the price lumber is at record levels, setting a new record this past Friday.

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Developer plans 46 single-family homes and a clubhouse for the property surrounding Pewaukee`s St. Mary`s Church

The village of Pewaukee has chosen a developer for the property surrounding St. Mary`s Church at 449 W. Wisconsin Ave.

At the Feb. 18 village board meeting, Sussex-based Cornerstone Development was picked to build 46 single-family homes and a clubhouse on the site.

"The board was very astute to the fact that the residents in that area really wanted a single-family residential area," said Village President Jeff Knutson. "Some of the proposals were single-family and two of them were multifamily. ... What (Cornerstone) offered as far as some of the extra money to offset costs for tearing buildings down and putting in sewer and water line, the board was very excited and interested in that."...


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Plain Talk: Passenger rail improvements are still a good idea
There`s been a lot written about the 10th anniversary of Act 10 these past several days, but there`s another Scott Walker-engineered farce that shouldn`t be forgotten.

It`s also the 10th anniversary of Walker`s infamous sacking of Wisconsin`s chance to improve and expand passenger rail in the state and have the federal government pay for it. Now, 10 years later, our state is missing out on what is becoming a growing travel choice for a new generation of Americans that is steadily turning away from automobiles...

See Also:

Ken Notes:Derailed should be required listening for every elected official!

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Ken Notes: WDNews relies on the actual journalism provided by your local media outlets. Without these partners we can not bring you the unbiased news, leads and updates you need to thrive in Wisconsin. Support your local media...

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A group of Bay View homes could become a historic district. That might stop future development plans.
A group of Bay View homes could be declared a city historic district — which could halt future development plans for those properties.

The proposal would affect seven houses on the east side of South Superior Street between East Russell Avenue and East Ontario Street.

Those homes would become the Puddlers’ Cottages Historic District under an application for permanent historic designation filed with the Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission.

Any changes to the homes` exteriors — ranging from minor alterations to demolition —would then need commission approval. Commission rulings can be appealed to the Common Council...

Ken Notes: I have to ask, is this really about the historic value of these homes or an attempt to stop new development?

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Gov. Evers Proposes $2.4 Billion In Wisconsin Building Projects

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers wants to spend $2.4 billion on Wisconsin building projects over the next two years, with nearly a half of that going toward projects across the University of Wisconsin System, $163 million for a new state office building in Milwaukee and plans to move the state historical society museum to a new location near the Capitol.

Evers released his capital budget proposal on Monday. The state building commission is slated to vote on it next month, which would then send the plan to the Legislature’s budget committee, which will then decide what to fund....   ...more

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Land and Space / Tom Daykin
Note: I changed the link here to Toms Twitter account. JS limits the number of articles I can read so I look at TD`s Twitter feed every week. I`ll Still include JS articles but after ten you need to subscribe.

I also updated the picture because, well Tom is getting old and development is taking it`s toll!!!

Milwaukee - 1/1/2020 Journal Sentinel business reporter Tom Daykin talks about commercial real estate and development, including stores, hotels, offices, condos, apartments and industrial buildings...

Land & Space Development Database


Ken Notes: Tom Daykin is the source for ED news in MKE. This is a permanent link to articles in his blog which is updated daily...

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Sponsorship Opportunities for 2021


Wisconsin Development and WDNGreen newsletters are now emailed to over 12,000 professionals, planners, developers, news outlets, and elected officials each week. We see over 1,000 opens within the first hour every week for each publication. The websites, WisconsinDevelopment.com and WDNGreen.com are always online and available to view and search where we maintain several years worth of articles. All of our rates are now less than in previous years.

"Our goal is to present a positive view of economic development in the State of Wisconsin”, Ken Harwood, Editor and Publisher.

WisconsinDevelopment is a positive look at economic development and commercial projects across the state. In WDNGreen we highlight pro-environmental developments and issues that make economic sense.

We believe in the Wisconsin business community and believe that telling their stories will positively impact both growth and better legislation in the State. We are nonpartisan, pro business, pro positive environmental issues, and most importantly pro WISCONSIN...

   Support WisconsinDevelopment.com or WDNGreen.com

    • Support WisconsinDevelopment.com or WDNGreen.com for $250 per year
    • Unlimited Number of Companies
    • Your Logo (120 x 120 px) and Links to your website will appear in every issue

Special Options for Partners and Primary Sponsors...

   You may also become a Partner in the Newsletter for $1,000

    • Limited to Four (4) Companies
    • Larger (240 x 240 px) Logo and Link to your website will appear in every issue
    • A 240 Character “Tag Line” or text message appear with logo
    • We will run at least four featured stories about your company or projects
    • You can forward press releases for inclusion in any issue
    • You company will be added to our search algorithm
    • You will be listed as a sponsor for all our seminars and events
    • As a partner you may call Ken (608.334.2174) with story ideas, comments, or notes anytime

   Or become a Primary Sponsor for $500

    • Limited to Nine Companies
      A large (160 x 160 px) Logo and Link to your website will appear in every issue
    • A 60 Character “Tag Line” or text message below logo
    • We will run at least two featured stories about your company or projects
    • You company will be added to our search algorithm

      Here are the sponsors in the New format from 5PNews
Examples - Please Note partner and Sponsor “logos” may be animated GIF files. We can animate a set of up to 5 images for you or you can send us the completed GIF file or a link to the file on your website.
  • Partners Appear in a 2 by 2 grid at the top of every issue*

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  • Supporters Appear in 4 by 4 grid(s) in every issue*
         *and on our websites

To sponsor call or text 608.334.2174


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The Wisconsin Development Network
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Ken Harwood
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Editor [at] WisconsinDevelopment.com

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WDN Notes...
Online at WisconsinDevelopment.com (4 weeks of articles) - Searchable at Search WDN - WDN Tool Box, Links you can use everyday to help you and Wisconsin grow! Edited and published by Ken Harwood @ LinkedIn. 

Click Here To Subscribe or add Friends and Colleagues... WDN si Available free thanks to our SPONSORS...  Why I publish WDN...  WDGreen Environmental News From a Business Perspective!

Ken Notes: "Ken Notes" may be reprinted in context without permission. Attribution should be Ken Harwood, Editor Wisconsin Development News or Ken Harwood Advocate for Wisconsin.

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Contact WisconsinDevelopment
Wisconsin Development News is
Edited and Published by:

Ken Harwood
Ken [at] KenHarwood.com

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P.O. Box  930234
Verona, WI  53593-0234

Please feel free to send story ideas or Press Releases to:

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Call 608.334.2174 to confirm receipt.


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