Monday, January 16, 2012

Wisconsin wins Kestrel facility

It appears Maine is out of the running for Kestrel Aircraft Co.'s manufacturing facility. This morning, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the company confirmed plans to locate the facility in the city of Superior, creating up to 600 permanent jobs by 2016.

According to Wisconsin station WDIO, the city, state and Douglas County offered Kestrel a number of incentives, including $112 million in tax credits, allocations and loans, a low-interest loan for $2.4 million, a land transfer and a $500,000 loan. Last week, a Wisconsin county committee backed selling land to Kestrel for $500,000 for one of two facilities the company plans to build there.

On Friday, Gov. Paul LePage released a financing plan the state is prepared to offer Kestrel Aircraft to establish a manufacturing facility at Brunswick Landing, which includes commitment from the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority for $10 million in tax revenue bonds, a $4.75 million loan guarantee from the Finance Authority of Maine, property tax exemptions and help from an unnamed private investor. According to the release, the state is waiting on Kestrel to update its financial information to move ahead with the financing package. Alan Klapmeier, CEO of Kestrel, told the Portland Press Herald the package is not enough, and said Cate Street Capital, which is handling applications for the loan guarantees, is in charge of providing updated financial information to the state.

Klapmeier in October said the company was looking to move some manufacturing work it planned to do in Maine to another state because of a lack of expected federal funding for the Brunswick Landing facility.