Wisconsin, more than most states, is blessed these days with a crescendo of early fall colors — the greens and golds, the reds and whites, the blues, golds and whites. We’re not talking trees yet, of course, they will provide their own vibrant colors in due time. The colors we see are in the stands and on the field at Packer, Badger and Brewers games and this year they all provide a lot to cheer about. The Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers took down the Chicago Bears in a thrilling come-from-behind win at Lambeau Field last weekend; the Badgers rolled over two opponents and are ranked sixth in the country headed into this weekend’s matchup with BYU; and the Brewers bested the Cubs taking two out of three games this week — for the second time in two weeks — to climb within a game of the lead in the NL Central. The fall colors are indeed glorious and we’ll shout and sing our praises as long as we can. And, yes, we’ll also lay in a supply of throat lozenges. We may be a little hoarse on Monday — it must be the weather.
The ever-burgeoning economy in southeastern Wisconsin got another boost this week with the news that Badger Meter is receiving $250,000 in state tax credits to help expand its Mount Pleasant operations and expects to create 40 new family-supporting jobs, The tax credits are a smaller echo of the Foxconn support from Wisconsin. The expansion plan will allow Badger Meter to relocate Cox Instruments, an Arizona flow meter and calibration firm which it acquired eight years ago, at its Racine operation. Announcing the state support, Gov. Scott Walker said the tax credits will “enhance the long-term growth opportunities at its Racine operation and position Badger Meter for continued success.”
The housing impacts of the massive Foxconn manufacturing complex were also targeted this week as 250 developers, builders, community leaders and municipal officials met Wednesday at a Southeastern Wisconsin Housing Summit to assess plans and preparations for the expected influx of workers and professionals at the Foxconn campus that could bring up to 13,000 jobs to the area. Higher density housing, mixed-income housing and other topics were discussed and several developers talked about rehabbing existing industrial facilities with plans already on the drawing board.
With all the giddiness over job growth and Foxconn-related spinoffs, we expected there would have to be some growing pains along with it. Sure enough, Mount Pleasant village officials were surprised this week when it opened bids for a new EMS station near Spring Street and Emmertsen Road and found they were double the $500,000 the village had budgeted. South Shore Fire Chief Robert Stedman, said, “There’s a lot of construction going on. There’s only so many contractors available … the price of raw materials went up; it’s like the perfect storm.”