Construction of a pipe mill that will employ 40 people is scheduled to begin this fall in Sharon, Gov. Tony Evers announced in a news release Thursday morning.

A new railroad spur costing $630,000 will serve the plant, according to the release.

Arntzen Corp. plans to build a $10 million plant and move production from Illinois to the village located near the state line in the southwest corner of Walworth County, according to the release.

Sharon’s 2020 population was 1,572.

Sharon Village Administrator Susan Steele said those 40 jobs will be filled over the next three years. Some current Arntzen staff from Illinois will work at the new facility and some will be new hires.

A state Transportation Assistance Grant of $200,000 will pay part of the spur’s price tag.

The 78,000-square-foot plant will produce large-diameter steel pipes for underground use.

The 1,100-foot rail spur will connect the new plant to a Union Pacific Railroad line to allow delivery of steel plate, the primary material for the operation.

“Wisconsin’s pro-business environment combined with the village of Sharon’s industrial site with rail access made this community the logical choice for our new manufacturing facility,” Arntzen Vice President John Arntzen is quoted as saying. “Transporting steel plate from the various steel mills by rail is key to staying competitive as a steel casing pipe mill.”

Arntzen, founded in 1954, is run by the Arntzen family and has plants in Wood- stock and Rockford, Illinois, according to its website.

Arntzen makes large- diameter rolled and welded steel casing pipe with mills used by underground contractors for road boring, pipe ramming, auger boring, caissons, drilled shafts, directional drilling, micro-tunneling and airshafts, according to the website.

The plant is scheduled to be completed next year. Work on the rail spur is expected to begin in spring 2022 and be completed by the time the manufacturing facility is operational, according to the release.

Steele said the factory will be built on a 68-acre site off Highway 67 on the village’s west side that will provide Arntzen with room to grow and add more new jobs.

Arntzen bought some of the land from a private landowner, and the company paid the village $434,000 for 30 adjoining acres, Steele said.

“Strong infrastructure and strategic investments are key to adding high-skill, high-wage jobs and connecting the dots so our state and economy can grow,” Evers is quoted as saying. “I welcome Arntzen Corporation to Wisconsin, and I welcome more businesses to collaborate on transportation solutions and find new success in Wisconsin.”

Steele said the land has been designated for industrial use for some time. The village plans to retire an existing tax-incremental finance district and create a new TIF district for the plant.

Tax increment financing allows municipalities to make improvements to such infrastructure as roads and sewer and water utilities and charge the cost to a TIF district.

As the district’s property value rises because of the new investment, the increases in property taxes would be used to repay the village’s costs. Other taxing districts, such as schools or the county, don’t receive the increased taxes until the village’s costs are paid or the district’s limited life expires.

Steele said Arntzen is already showing that he wants to become a part of the community by being a good partner in the various governmental efforts to bring the plant to Wisconsin and donating for the cost of the village fireworks display in July.

“I think it’s going to be really good for the village,” Steele said.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Walworth County Economic Development Alliance and the Milwaukee 7 regional economic development organization are credited with helping recruit Arntzen to move to Wisconsin.

This story may be updated.


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