Department of Transportation: Governor Evers announces $400,000 TEA grant for Pleasant Prairie manufacturing

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WisDOT Office of Public Affairs                                                     

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Rail spur project helps Balcan Innovations add 80 jobs

Governor Tony Evers, together with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), today announced a $400,000 Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) grant to build a rail spur in Pleasant Prairie that will help Balcan Innovations, Inc. add 80 manufacturing jobs.

“Balcan is making a major investment in Pleasant Prairie to grow their business and add good jobs to southeast Wisconsin,” Gov. Evers said. “We are pleased to work with the village of Pleasant Prairie to support this growing business by investing in transportation infrastructure.”

Balcan is a leading North American producer of flexible packaging and lamination films. In 2021, Balcan acquired a manufacturing plant that had ceased operations earlier in the year, resulting in the loss of 40 full-time jobs. In addition to the cost of acquiring the property, Balcan plans to further invest in the facility for site improvements and new manufacturing equipment. Balcan expects to create 80 new jobs at the facility.

The TEA grant will help construct a turnout from the Union Pacific Railroad mainline and about 1,760 feet of new industry spur track to allow Balcan to receive rail shipments of plastic resin, the primary raw material used in their manufacturing process. Construction is expected to begin this summer.

“The TEA grant and our rail spur connectivity allows Balcan to supply its facility in the most economic and environmentally friendly manner. It is the next crucial step in our development of our US flagship manufacturing location. We are thrilled to be in Pleasant Prairie, and grateful for the support of the State of Wisconsin,” Balcan CEO Dano Lister said.

“The village is delighted that WisDOT is awarding a TEA grant to help fund the rail spur improvement project to Balcan Innovations. The company has created manufacturing jobs and continues to enhance an existing industrial building. The investment in the Pleasant Prairie facility will allow the company to use the rail system to deliver raw materials and reduce the number of trucks visiting the facility each day,” Pleasant Prairie Community Development Director Jean Werbie-Harris said.

The TEA program provides financial assistance to communities to support transportation infrastructure improvements that will help attract new employers or encourage existing employers to expand. A municipal or county unit of government must sponsor a TEA application. The project must have the local government’s endorsement, and it must benefit the public. More information about the program, including instructions to apply for a grant, can be found here at https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/doing-bus/local-gov/astnce-pgms/aid/tea.aspx.