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The city of Brillion partners with Ariens Company to purchase Brillion Iron Works property

Brillion Iron Works Monday, November 13, 2017. (WLUK/Pafoua Yang)

BRILLION (WLUK) --Brillion Iron Works had been one of Calumet County's largest employers, but last year, the facility was shut down, putting more than 300 people out of work.

Now, another large employer is looking to help figure-out what to do with the vacant building.

Ariens Company, has the go-ahead to work with the city's redevelopment authority to buy the property.

Ariens makes products like snow blowers and mowing equipment.

The Brillion City Council threw its support behind the partnership during a meeting Monday evening.

The property's owner is still listed as Brillion Iron Works on tax records, although before its closure, the business had been purchased by another company.

Ariens said there are no specific plans in place for the building.

The Brillion City Administrator, Lori Gosz said Ariens may be looking to grow, which could have a positive impact on the area.

"They have some expansion needs themselves that they're looking for in some areas located within the city of Brillion," Gosz said, "There's a huge impact as far as tax pays go, generating job opportunities, maybe some residential growth that may come out of all this."

Ariens said it wants to make sure the property doesn't fall into disrepair and become a blight on the city.

“Ariens and the City of Brillion have a common interest in preserving and growing our community and together we hope to accomplish that goal which includes, in part, the future of the shuttered Brillion Iron Works,” said Dan Ariens, Chairman and CEO of Ariens Company “We are encouraged by the City’s willingness to partner with us as we collectively work toward building upon an already great community to live, work and raise a family.”

Ariens added, "We have been in discussions with community leaders regarding the impact not only on the employees and residents of the area, but also the impact on local businesses and their ability to attract and retain talent, and even to draw other supporting business into the area.”

Ariens employs about 1,100 people in Brillion at two manufacturing plants and its corporate headquarters.

Brillion leaders say the next step will be to set up a meeting with the DNR to go over any potential environmental issues.

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