RACINE COUNTY — Twenty-four hours after approval by Village of Mount Pleasant, the Racine County Board on Tuesday also voted unanimously to approve the development agreement between the village, county and Foxconn Technology Group.
A special signing ceremony with village, county and Foxconn officials is expected to be held on Friday.
“The business before you tonight is, arguably, the most important business we’ve done here in Racine County,” County Executive Jonathan Delagrave told the supervisors.
County Board Chairman Russell Clark of Racine thanked the supervisors and county employees who worked on the Foxconn project.
“This is truly one remarkable day in Racine County history, where manufacturing is going to be on the upswing and there will be a better community down the road,” Clark said.
Foxconn is planning to place $60 million upfront to purchase property in Area I of the development, which will be reimbursed to the company at a much later date. Area I is located east of Interstate 94, north of Highway KR, south of Braun Road and west of Highway H.
Although the county and the village are issuing massive amounts of debt related to the project, Director of PFM Financial Advisors David Anderson, who has been working with the county, said all of the debt will be paid for by Foxconn before the company receives anything from the taxpayers.
“The $31 million that Foxconn is going to be paying each year is first going to be used to pay debt,” Anderson said. “Mount Pleasant is going to be getting its operating expenses paid for police and fire; after that’s paid then the development incentive goes to Foxconn; … then there will be three years of buildup of debt service reserves so you’ll have three years of payments before anything goes out the door. After that happens then, and only then, does Foxconn get their land payments back.”
Michael Lanzdorf, corporation counsel for the county, said timing has been an issue for the parties involved and for members of the public who had hoped to see the agreement before it was voted on.
“In a perfect world we would have had ample opportunity to unveil this development agreement to the public in very much the same manner that we did the memorandum of understanding,” Lanzdorf said. “We would’ve liked to have several weeks to travel across the county and discuss the specifics of the agreement and receive that public input. However, with the postponement of the vote on the state agreement on Nov. 19, that left us with less than a month to not only draft but negotiate and finalize the agreement.”
The County Board on Tuesday also approved forming a intergovernmental cooperation agreement with Mount Pleasant regarding oversight of the development.