WisDOT: Gov. Walker announces $945,000 transportation grant to the village of Deforest

Contact: Donna Brown-Martin
Bureau of Planning and Economic Development
(608) 286-8066, [email protected]

Tonia Rice
Bureau of Planning and Economic Development
(608) 264-6671, [email protected]

Governor Scott Walker announced today that the village of DeForest has been awarded a Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) grant. The $945,000 award represents the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) contribution toward the design and construction of street extensions and other improvements for the DeForest North Business Park. The project, which was recently completed, includes the extension of the north-south segment of Burton Boulevard (now known as Little Potato Way), and the construction of Shonkoo Way, a new east-west street which connects Little Potato Way with the east end of Yahara Road. The project also includes the reconstruction of a segment of Grinde Road (now known as North Stevenson Street), the extension of the pedestrian/bicycle trail along North Stevenson Street and Shonkoo Way, and the construction of a stormwater detention basin. These improvements will provide safe and convenient access to the new plants built by The Little Potato Company and American Packaging Corporation.

“These state funds will improve the DeForest North Business Park and will literally pave the way for continued job growth in Wisconsin,” Governor Walker said. “At 3.7 percent, our state’s unemployment rate is the lowest since the year 2000. We are working and winning for Wisconsin.”

The Little Potato Company, headquartered near Edmonton, Canada, grows and distributes small creamer potatoes, offering several unique varieties that sell under branded and private label formats in grocery, club and food service channels in North America. It currently has two packing facilities and five distribution centers across Canada and the U.S. The company’s plans for the DeForest site include the construction of a new processing facility and office space which houses its U.S. headquarters.

American Packaging Corporation manufactures flexible packaging for a wide range of products, including food, beverage, medical, personal care, household, pet food, agricultural chemical, lawn and garden, and other specialty items. In addition to its existing plant in Columbus, Wisconsin, the company has facilities in Iowa and New York. The 170,000-square-foot building in DeForest serves as a satellite plant.

“It is exciting to see the economic growth that this kind of infrastructure investment provides,” said WisDOT Secretary Dave Ross. “This TEA grant directly supports the creation of 189 new jobs.”

WisDOT’s TEA grant covers 50 percent of the eligible costs of the construction project, with a cap of $945,000. The remaining funds will be provided by the village of DeForest.

“This is a great example of local and state agencies successfully working together to bring new business development to the area” said DeForest Village President Judd Blau.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is providing assistance to both The Little Potato Company and American Packaging Corporation. WEDC has awarded The Little Potato Company up to $740,000 in state tax credits, while American Packaging Corporation has been awarded up to $750,000 in tax credits. The amount of actual credits received is based upon the companies meeting capital investment and job creation requirements.

The TEA grant program began in 1987. Through 2016, Wisconsin’s TEA grant program has invested over $100 million in 358 projects, helping to create or retain more than 38,000 jobs around the state. For a complete listing of TEA grants and project details, visit: http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/doing-bus/local-gov/astnce-pgms/aid/tea.aspx.