Manufacturing Odds & Ends

Hartford acquires more land for development; Port officials rip DNR’s proposed ballast standards

Hartford acquires more land for development

The Hartford Area Development Corp. (HADC) is continuing to invest in the city’s future by purchasing a 40-acre tract of land abutting the Dodge Industrial Park in Hartford.

The agency also plans to purchase at least 24 additional acres later this year.

By selling the Innovation Center to long time tenant Key Logo Inc. last December, the HADC freed up funds to acquire the 40-acre parcel.

The intent of the incubator concept is to assist start-up businesses so they can grow and graduate into building or buying their own facilities.

The marketing efforts of the HADC to fill the Dodge Industrial Park, have left Hartford with only a few remaining parcels for sale. Long-range planning indicates that the area between the Dodge and Western Industrial Parks is slotted for industrial development.

The HADC said it has been working with two or three businesses that are interested in the new property.

"We hope to be able to fulfill their specific needs and welcome them to our industrial community. We expect 2009 to be an exciting and challenging year as we move forward with negotiations," said Ed Majkowski, executive director of the HADC.

Port officials rip DNR’s proposed ballast standards

Wisconsin will lose jobs, while manufacturing costs will increase and economic development will be stifled if proposed statewide regulations on regarding ballast water at the state’s Great Lakes ports are approved, a group of business leaders, labor representatives and elected officials warned last week. 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has proposed a permit to regulate ballast water discharges in the Great Lakes would establish standards for Wisconsin that are 100 times more stringent than those proposed by the International Maritime Organization and adopted by the other Great Lakes states.

Wisconsin also has greatly accelerated its effective ballast regulation date to 2012, while the other states have adopted a 2016 implementation date. 

"We have the worst economy in decades, and Wisconsin’s unemployment just skyrocketed to nearly 9 percent. Thousands of people are losing jobs, and businesses are struggling. This is absolutely the worst time to enact a proposal that isolates Wisconsin, kills jobs and hurts our ports. We are foolish to tell the international shipping community to go somewhere else," said Superior Mayor Dave Ross, speaking for the coalition during a press conference at the Port of Milwaukee this morning.

Steve Fisher, executive director of the American Great Lakes Association, said that Wisconsin’s three major ports – Superior (which is the largest port on the Great Lakes), Milwaukee and Green Bay – would in essence be cutting themselves off from international trade and important agricultural exports if they are forced to follow the proposed permit for their ports.

Fisher said Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania have all adopted the same standards for ballast treatment, but that enacting a different standard for Wisconsin would be like putting up a "jobs not welcome" sign.

"Port officials in Duluth have already said ships that skip Wisconsin will go to Chicago, Duluth or somewhere in Indiana, making Wisconsin ports much less competitive," said Eric Reinelt, director of the Port of Milwaukee. "We support tough regulation for ballast discharge permits, but this proposal with unrealistic goals doesn’t make good economic sense and can’t be achieved with available technology."

"These standards need to be consistent with our neighboring states and competing ports.  Without changes, Milwaukee, Green Bay and Superior will lose jobs, increase manufacturing costs and stifle economic development," said Tom Schwark, executive board trustee with The International Longshoremen’s Association Local 815.


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