The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently published an article about a City of Milwaukee defense contractor heading for Menomonee Falls!

Defense contractor Leonardo DRS could have developed its new $56 million factory and offices, with more than 400 workers, at Century City Business Park — less than a mile from its outdated facility on Milwaukee’s north side. 
Instead, armed with up to $25 million in state and local government financing help, the company will move to the Woodland Prime business park in Menomonee Falls.

Now this is troubling at base. The MJS article goes on and questions what would be the issues at Century City Business Park that prevented Leonardo DRS from moving there. And looking into that is something that Milwaukee needs to do…and remediate it if at all possible. Being at just a mile from their current headquarters would seem to make it a logical move. But I am not going there right now.

My question relates to the second paragraph in the quote shown above. Financing help from the state and local government. Hmmm. Should the state actually be providing funds to state companies to move from one municipality to another? This is my mind raises all types of questions.

Is there a conflict of interest on the part of state officials in intra-state moves of this type? There is always a question of governments picking winners and losers…should they be benefiting one village over a neighboring city? Shouldn’t state monies be used to grow businesses in their own neighborhoods (or to keep them from leaving the state)?

Not apparently in this case…screw you Milwaukee:

The state will give DRS up to $18.5 million in income tax credits over the next seven years. Also, Menomonee Falls is providing $6.4 million in tax incremental financing for the new facility.

I understand the Falls eagerness to add a new business and their willingness to spend millions to do it. But the state is spending $18.5 million and allowing a company to leave one municipality for another. I understand DRS’ desire for a bigger modern plant but there is plenty of space at Century City.

So briefly, why is the state allowed to pit one municipality against another in business development and actually encourage pirating businesses while providing state funds to do it?

A final word from DRS:

The company “looked all over the state, including sites in Milwaukee, and the Menomonee Falls location met the requirements for us to best serve our U.S. Navy customer,” said Michael Mount, senior director of public affairs.

Yeah, Menomonee Falls is so much closer to any US Navy base or facility than the City of Milwaukee… ha ha ha!

2 Responses to Defense Contractor Abandons Milwaukee for the Falls!

  1. WashCoRepub says:

    I’m sure availability of workforce had a lot to do with the decision, too. It’s a constant challenge finding great people to work, so maybe the company liked the chances of that better in their new location.

  2. Flann naSinna says:

    Sounds more like the dimwit with that Assembly seat got a big chunk of pork from the state to lob at that sweetheart deal. So much for big government not being in the business of picking winners and losers.

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