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Racine, Mount Pleasant at Odds Over Failed Foxconn Plans

Racine, Mount Pleasant at Odds Over Failed Foxconn Plans

June 7, 2024 11:41 AM CDT
By: Stuart J. Wattles

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RACINE, Wis. (Civic Media) — The City of Racine and Village of Mount Pleasant are locked in a dispute over water and wastewater agreements made when Foxconn was expected to build a massive facility and create 13,000 jobs in the area.

Racine officials say the city has not received the anticipated economic benefits from the agreements after Foxconn’s plans unraveled. Mount Pleasant contends Racine has breached the deals and has filed a notice with state regulators.

“It’s our first salvo in terms of filing a complaint with the Public Service Commission,” Mount Pleasant Village President Dave DeGroot said during public comments at Tuesday’s Racine City Council meeting.

Racine must now file its own notice as it uses legal remedies in the agreements to respond to changed circumstances since Foxconn’s project failed and Microsoft announced plans for a smaller development.

Utility Deals Tied to Foxconn

Providing water and wastewater services was key for Mount Pleasant’s plan to create an electronics manufacturing zone for Foxconn. Racine applied for a Great Lakes diversion exemption on the village’s behalf and expanded utility services based on projections of 13,000 Foxconn jobs and associated economic benefits.

But the Foxconn deal collapsed and legislative changes adversely impacted Racine’s economic viability, even as Mount Pleasant reaped development benefits from the new infrastructure, the city says.

Allegations of Racial, Economic Segregation

Racine alleges the utility agreements have contributed to Racine County being one of America’s most racially and economically segregated counties.”A hundred years ago, redlining kept poor and racially diverse communities contained in the same low-income neighborhoods. These water agreements are having the same effect today,” a letter from Mayor Cory Mason said.

Mount Pleasant’s village board planned to discuss options in a closed session Monday night.

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