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ALLIANT ENERGY COMMERCE PARK (copy)

Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen addresses a group of people attending the kickoff for the Beaver Dam Commerce Park on Aug. 9.

Alliant Energy is making progress on the Beaver Dam Commerce Park.

Alliant first announced the 520-acre project last summer to bring large-scale development and new jobs to what is now farmland, bolstering economic development in Beaver Dam. Right now, Alliant is working to get the project “Certified in Wisconsin” through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state’s private-public organization that works to promote business growth within the state.

An industrial site being “certified” could mean faster approvals and turnarounds for a project, according to the WEDC.

“That’s really been the focus for the past several months,” said Scott Reigstad, a spokesman for Alliant. “Now that’s spring is here, we expect there might be some more ramp-up of businesses looking in the spring.”

He said this is the first spring of the project’s development, given that it was first announced last August, with marketing efforts now due to pick up by reaching out to executives, attending conferences and so on. The company hired someone to boost marketing efforts and sent a newsletter to local residents for the spring, with plans for more sent out periodically.

So far, there have been general inquiries on the project, but nothing specific.

The site of the future business park is next to Highway 151 and the plan calls for annexation into the city of Beaver Dam and connection to its infrastructure. Some residents in the area are still speaking out with their concerns.

Maily Kocinski, a town of Trenton resident who ran unsuccessfully for town board earlier this month, said she feels the company hasn’t been communicating well with the residents in providing new and clear information.

Kocinski said she is particularly concerned about the environmental plan for the project and how it will impact all the water in the area.

“We can ask whatever we want. It’s too late,” she said. “Everybody that’s happy with it doesn’t have to live with it.”

Follow Chris Higgins on Twitter @chris_higgins_ or contact him at 920-356-6751 and chiggins@wiscnews.com.

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