The leaders of several Franklin businesses signed a letter to Franklin aldermen expressing dismay about the Common Council’s recent vote to deny Strauss Brands’ proposed new meat processing facility.
Franklin-based meat company Strauss Brands wants to build a 152,000-square-foot meat processing facility on a 30.2-acre site southwest of West Loomis Road and the new Monarch Drive. The facility would be staffed by more than 270 employees.
Several residents in Franklin and nearby Muskego objected to the plans and the Common Council recently voted 4-2 rejecting a special use permit that the company needed for the project.
Late last week, leaders from a group of businesses in the Franklin Business Park Consortium signed a letter to aldermen saying they were upset about the rejection of the Strauss Brands plans. There are 15 companies and 9 associate member organizations in the Franklin Business Park Consortium. Strauss Brands is one of 70 businesses currently located in the Franklin Business Park.
The letter from the FBPC to aldermen said the companies are “extremely concerned” about the rejection of the Strauss Brands plans for a new facility in Franklin.
“In our view, most of the objections were irrational and inaccurate, some of which completely ignored fact-based information,” the letter stated. “The overall climate of these public meetings and the board’s rejection of a very reasonable proposal is detrimental to the health and future of Franklin businesses and thus the citizens of Franklin. It is also very disturbing that many of the most vocal naysayers were not even from Franklin.”
“Many of our member companies are considering expanding in Franklin, but we must admit that the treatment of Strauss is giving us pause and questioning our trust in the city,” the letter stated.
The letter was signed by: David Dull, president of Allis Roller; Mary Kay Schwanke, office manager and owner of Dash Medical Gloves Inc.; Rich Simonson, CEO of Carma Laboratories; Darrel Malek, president of Starfire Electric; Joe Smyczek, director of operations for Carlisle Interconnect Technologies; Jerry Richie, production manager of Nucore; Alan Henry, owner and president of ChromeTech; Manuel Merkt, president and COO of Hermle Machine Company; Denise Huebner, human resources director of Steele Solutions Inc.; Cheryl Wisman, human resources director of Strauss Brands; Allison Kuhlman, account coordinator of 360 Direct and Susan Rabe, CEO and executive director of the Conservancy for Healing and Heritage.
Last year Strauss planned to build its new facility in the Century City business park in Milwaukee, but ran into opposition there as well and withdrew its plans after local alderman Khalif Rainey withdrew his support for the project.
Milwaukee aldermen were criticized by Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce president Tim Sheehy for the demise of the Strauss Brands project at Century City.
Strauss Brands' current facility in Franklin