SHINE asks city to buy more land

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Jim Leute
Thursday, December 5, 2013

JANESVILLE—The Janesville City Council on Monday will decide whether to buy two more pieces of land for the proposed SHINE development on the city's south side.

SHINE Medical Technologies said it needs the two parcels, which total about eight acres, to satisfy a federal buffering requirement for the $85 million medical isotope plant the company plans to build on Highway 51 across from the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport.

The city's acquisition and carrying costs would be about $150,000, which SHINE would repay when it takes occupancy of the plant.

If the plant is not built, the city would retain ownership of the two parcels and market it for industrial development.

SHINE is working toward regulatory approval of a plant that will use low-enriched uranium in a series of eight accelerators to produce molybdenum-99, a medical isotope used in more than 30 kinds of diagnostic imaging procedures and more than 40 million medical imaging tests each year.

The plant is expected offer 150 high-paying jobs, open in late 2016 and generate annual revenues of $200 million in 2017.

There is a sense of urgency with Monday's council action.

In March 2012, SHINE signed options to buy the parcels, but the options expire at the end of this year.

SHINE is asking the city to buy the two parcels on its behalf so it can keep its financial position more liquid in the early stages of the project and the company's capital campaign. Company officials fear that the land costs will increase if the options aren't exercised by the deadline.

By the time the plant opens, SHINE officials have estimated that construction, equipment and regulatory costs will hit $180 million.

The federal government has committed $25 million to the project, and the city has offered a $9 million development agreement—including private loan guarantees—that is contingent on the company meeting several benchmarks, including federal licensing and the creation of at least 125 high-paying jobs.

If approved Monday, the city would buy slightly more than two acres from Arthur Donaldson for $37,980 and about five and one-half acres from Randy Hughes for $100,260.

The per acre purchase price is $18,000, similar to what the city paid when it bought an 84-acre parcel for SHINE in 2012.

Earlier this week, SHINE officials learned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted for review the second half of the company's application to build the plant.

The agency has determined the application is complete and includes what is required. The agency will now spend the next year or so reviewing the document, which includes thousands of pages of technical details and responses to agency questions.

The NRC soon will publish a review schedule that identifies significant milestones and an expected review completion date.

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