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Town of Pound Considers Possible Cheese Factory

Issue Date: November 22, 2017

Pound-During the Nov. 14 monthly town board meeting, Chairman Jerry Heroux disclosed a request for letter of support for a potential Cheese Factory in Marinette County with Town of Pound or Village of Coleman as possible sites. The request came from Brian Lepianka and his wife, Danette Ossmann along with their two sons, Nathan and Reily (owners of B&D Dairy). The farm which was established in 1990, currently has 3,400 cows producing over 6 truckloads of milk per day. There is an expansion plan to grow the herd to around 7,000 cows, which will make the farm one of the largest dairies in the state of Wisconsin. The expansion will grow the dairy large enough to consider investing in a processing plant for their milk as well as milk from other farms in the area.

The request stated that the plant being considered will cost over $100 million when completed and would require a significant investment. The plant would turn out over 100 truckloads of cheese per month and would also generate whey, a by-product of cheese making. The whey would be turned into a variety of products including high-protein powders and animal feed.

The total projected cost of the project is $100 million, and the estimated annual revenue is $100 million. The estimated number of construction jobs is between 300 and 400, and the number of full time plant jobs are between 60 and 100. Salaries of key plant jobs are as follows: Supervisor $19-26 per hour, Maintenance $21-23 per hour, Production $13-18 per hour and Packaging $13-17 per hour.

Heroux explained to the board that he has reached out to Legal Counsel Jann Charette for guidance regarding the possible moving forward. He also stated that at present, Wisconsin law would not allow a TIF or TID district within a town for a cheese factory. Heroux offered that this law may change as Town of Cable is trying to get a law passed that would allow such; however, it might be some time in future, if ever, that it be passed. Board agreed that more information is needed before any action can be taken.

An operational meeting regarding the construction of bridges on North 1st Rd and North 5th Rd took place on Oct. 18. The meeting was designed to give opportunity for DNR, WPS, Telephone companies and anyone connected with Utilities occasion to connect with the Cedar Group Engineers who are heading the project. The schedule for engineering will take place in the spring of next year and construction will take place in 2020.

The temporary bridges will accommodate busses, agricultural equipment as well as heavy equipment. Heroux explained that he did contact the school by way of letter to inform them that they will need to change their bus route. The engineers informed Heroux that if the project begins in spring, the town stands to save money due to low number of projects at that time of year.


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