MOUNT PLEASANT — Negotiations between the State of Wisconsin and electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group have been “making great progress,” according to a statement from the company.

The Journal Times submitted a list of questions to the company related to the contract negotiations with the state, the proposed incentive package, what Foxconn employees already in Wisconsin are doing, and the location of the proposed manufacturing facility.

When asked about the location of the facility, the company stated “we are progressing very well in our review of potential locations and we look forward to making an announcement in the very near future.”

Foxconn, a Taiwanese technology company, has announced plans to invest $10 billion to build a large liquid crystal display (LCD) production facility in southeastern Wisconsin. The location has not been announced, but it has been confirmed that property owners in Mount Pleasant in Racine County and the Town of Paris in Kenosha County have been approached about selling land for the plant.

On Monday, the Mount Pleasant Village Board and Community Development Authority met in closed session to discuss an unspecified development project with the village. Similar closed-session meetings have taken place in Mount Pleasant in recent weeks.

Recently, the village hired former Burlington mayor Claude Lois to be the village’s project director. Part of his duties will be to work with business inquiries related to the prospect of Foxconn coming to the area. Lois also will assist interim Village Administrator Tim Zarzecki.

Investment could benefit all parties

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When asked about the Legislature discussing the $2.85 billion Foxconn incentive package to create an electronics and IT manufacturing zone in Wisconsin, the company said projects of this size requires “partnerships with the relevant governments because of the significant infrastructure and related requirements of those initiatives.”

“That infrastructure is generally not directed at supporting the needs of just our project, it also supports the projects of other companies in the large supply chain that is created around our investments and the many other companies that are attracted by the catalytic role our investments play in most of the locations where we invest,” Foxconn stated. “As such, investments from both our company and the related governments, including such things as investment-linked tax benefits, are required if these project are to achieve the goals set by our company and by the governments in locations where we seek to invest.”

Foxconn goes on to state that these investments, “if done right,” would be beneficial to all involved and would be “very wide and very long-term.”

Members of Gov. Scott Walker’s administration were questioned by members of the Joint Finance Committee at a meeting held Aug. 22 in Sturtevant. At that meeting Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., informed committee members that Foxconn employees have spent “in excess of 500 hotel room nights in the state over the last three months.”

When asked about the work Foxconn is already doing in Wisconsin, the company said it “takes this project very seriously and we have devoted the appropriate time and resources to all stages of this initiative.”

Foxconn stated it is still committed to the project and to the state and it is “confident in the contribution this project will make and we look forward to continuing to work with (the Walker administration) under a co-investment plan that is win-win-win for our company, local community and the state government.”

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Ricardo Torres covers federal, state and Racine County politics along with the Village of Mount Pleasant. He bleeds Wisconsin sports teams.

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