$64 million Mills Fleet Farm expansion in Chippewa Falls receives WEDC support

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$1.5 million loan to help fund construction distribution center expected to create 325 jobs

MADISON, WI. July 19, 2017 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) today announced it is providing Mills Fleet Farm with a $1.5 million loan to support the company’s expansion in Chippewa Falls–a project expected to create 325 jobs.

Governor Scott Walker recently joined company officials and community leaders in a groundbreaking ceremony for the distribution center. The $64.8 million project at the Lake Wissota Business Park is expected to be complete in early 2018.

In addition to providing the loan, WEDC worked closely with the company and county and local officials to help identify the best site for the project. The 72-acre parcel ultimately selected by the company is one of 17 sites in WEDC’s Certified In Wisconsin® Program, which provides assurances that the property is development-ready.

“This project will provide an economic boost to Chippewa County, the region and the entire state,” said Barb LaMue, vice president of business and community development for WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “It is also a testament to the strength of our Certified In Wisconsin Program, which has attracted development projects expected to create more than 1,900 jobs and generate $379 million in capital investment.

“Our objective as a company is to grow, and we have a strong growth plan,” said Hugh Leasum, executive vice president and COO for Mills Fleet Farm. “The Chippewa Falls distribution center is a step in this development. Modernizing our supply chain will support the planned growth of future retail stores in Wisconsin and the Midwest. We are excited to be part of the Chippewa Valley, creating jobs for the area now, and in the future.”

The City of Chippewa Falls will contribute $10 million in tax increment financing to the project–$7.3 million in a financing grant, $1.29 million for the land purchase, and $1.41 million for sewer, water, and storm water extensions.

Founded in 1955, Mills Fleet Farm sells a variety of lifestyle merchandise, including farm and pet supplies, hunting and fishing products, auto parts, home improvement and living goods, and outdoor and work apparel, at stores in rural and suburban communities. The company has 37 stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota, including 17 in Wisconsin.

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About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter  to learn more.

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