Votes to start for $88 million incentive package for Green Bay Packaging plan

An aerial view of Green Bay Packaging's facilities June 12, 2018. (WLUK image)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Green Bay Packaging is putting in more than $500 million toward its new mill. However, the company is looking at a government incentive package, that's more than $88 million.

As FOX 11 reported on Tuesday, the new mill will be built at Green Bay Packaging’s current location on North Quincy Street.

Instead of replacing its 71-year-old mill in Green Bay, it likely made more economical sense for Green Bay Packaging to build elsewhere.

“It would be a significantly better cost situation for us if we moved it to a lower Midwestern state,” said Bryan Hollenbach, Executive Vice President for Green Bay Packaging.

The Kress family wanted to make it work in Green Bay, and to make that happen, company leaders started negotiations in March with the county and the city, according to Hollenbach.

“We needed to have something frankly to make this thing work, but we tried to do it in the fairest way possible,” said Hollenbach.

Based off job retention, creation, and company investment, the state is providing $60 million in tax credits. The city is providing $23 million in TIF assistance. The county plans to spend $5.3 million on infrastructure improvements.

“The headlines these days have been plant closures,” said Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach. “The ability for us to attract a business of this magnitude to this county could take four decades.”

The county plans to create a Fox River Papermaking Corridor. The money to pay for road improvements and storm water management will cause adjustments to be made for other county work, but Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach says it will be worth it.

“When you think about the impact this will have to the overall economy and the benefits from that, you have to kind of take that into account,” said Streckenbach.

Green Bay Packaging has asked each group to fast-track the incentive votes, because, in particular, paper machine purchases depend on it.

“We've also sent a message to the industry that we're building a mill here in Wisconsin, so it's important we stick with that timeline,” said Hollenbach. ”That is incredibly important.”

If all goes according to plan, all incentive-related votes will take place before the end of the month.

Two county committees are holding a special meeting tomorrow night at the Neville Public Musuem.

Green Bay's Redevelopment Authority will hold a special meeting Friday.

If the plans are approved, the full county board and city council votes would then happen next week.

The state money requires a vote from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Board.

The new mill would include cleaner technology than older mills and could cut gas emissions in half, all while increasing production.

The 1,100 existing jobs would stay in the area and another 200 would be added over the years.

The goal is to start construction in September and be finished by 2021.

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