Racine plating company will remediate site

Wisconsin Plating Works of Racine Inc. will soon begin environmental remediation at the former Racing Plating site on Stannard St.

Wisconsin Plating Works of Racine Inc., a metal plating and finishing company based in Racine, will soon begin environmental remediation at its facility at 620 Stannard St., home of its Racine Plating division. The 1.67-acre parcel has a 75,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.

About three years ago, Wisconsin Plating Works purchased the assets and equipment of Racine Plating Co., said Jeff Toeppe, vice president of Wisconsin Plating. The company was also prepared to buy Racine Plating’s building until it learned of environmental contamination there.

"We always intended to buy the building, but because of the environmental issues we leased it," he said. "We were creative with a land contract and the former owners moved toward the cleanup responsibilities. But they did not have enough resources after the sale (of the company) to do the cleanup."

Wisconsin Plating of Racine was recently awarded a $165,000 state brownfield grant to help pay for soil removal and remediation. Cleanup work will begin in November, Toeppe said, and will be completed by early December. Depending on weather conditions, some landscaping work may need to be finished in the spring.

Wisconsin Plating still plans to purchase the building, but not until two to three years of environmental monitoring has passed, Toeppe said.

"When the DNR gives us a clean bill of health, we will buy out the land contract," he said. "There are building improvements that should be made but we will not do them if we don’t own the building. And we’re concerned about investing more at the site until we’re certain that the environmental issues are resolved."

The company’s Racine Plating division has about 25 workers, and about two-thirds of them worked for the company’s former owners, Toeppe said. Wisconsin Plating Works’ other facility at 1000 12th St. has about 40 employees. The company performs a wide range of metal plating and related services for the auto, agricultural equipment, defense and metal fabrication industries.

Wisconsin Plating Works eventually plans to make some structural improvements to the building on the site, including roof repairs, masonry work, window replacement and other maintenance projects. Other more significant upgrades will not be made until Wisconsin Plating owns the building, Toeppe said.

"There’s nothing on the books right now, but we aren’t going to put equipment into a building that we don’t own," he said.

For more information, visit www.wisplate.com.

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