Thursday, December 20, 2007

And $17 Million later...

Wouldn't it be great if Abbott Labs actually decided to build in Kenosha County?

Even now, Pleasant Prairie is giving away the farm, but still no commitment from Abbott Labs.

The Village of Pleasant Prairie taxpayers have spent $17 million attempting to attract them, and even today, Abbott Labs will not make a commitment.

$17 million for a village the size of Pleasant Prairie is boatload of cash. Plus, the state has committed money to helping develop the land for Abbott. Millions of our tax dollars sits in the hands of the Kenosha Area Business Association, waiting for Abbott to make a move. Think of what this money could be doing for Wisconsinites, instead of sitting and waiting on Abbott Labs?

As much as I like to beat up on the government in Pleasant Prairie, clearly these guys are doing everything in their power to make this happen for Pleasant Prairie.

Just last night, the village board approved rezoning the land for pharmaceutical and health care use only. Basically, this protects anyone else from coming in and undercutting Abbott Labs. They are now protected- still no commitment from Abbott.

As stated in the Kenosha News today, this is not a normal practice for the Village to do-
"In this village, we have typically rezoned land for development only when we have had the final, detailed development plans and the final construction contracts on the table."
The problem here is that the reputation of Abbott Labs proceeds them. Just ask the folks in Antioch, Illinois. Those folks also believed that Abbott was going to bring thousands of jobs to their area also. Well over 10 years later, Abbott is now trying to sell the land. Or perhaps they have already sold it- that was a couple of years ago.

Either way, Antioch did everything that Pleasant Prairie is doing now- then they got punched in the gut after spending millions.

The question is, how long of a wait is reasonable for Abbott to make a decision? It has already been two years.

This is prime real estate sitting on I-94. That land could be used for so many other developments.

How patient should taxpayers be until they start demanding answers from Abbott?

Well, we are two years in and counting.

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