Civil and Municipal - Mar 2023

21 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL VOLUME 4, ISSUE 3 OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN and supply chains supporting existing businesses. “What’s important to us is that these businesses that have been here for years remain viable employers,” Rathermel explains. “A major initiative was the Oshkosh Corporation headquarters. They purchased a municipal piece of land that had been a golf course, not making any money, and ended up placing their headquarters on that site, near the lake. We’re so happy that they chose to stay here, in Oshkosh. What’s really great about that development is that it’s attracted nearly $30M in subsequent development to come along that corridor on Oshkosh Ave. where their headquarters are.” Formerly known as Oshkosh Trucks, Oshkosh Corp. is recognized as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of heavy-duty, fire, and emergency vehicles. The defense division, which operates in Oshkosh, mainly produces joint light tactical vehicles to serve the U.S. military’s ever-changing needs. Another key employer for the area is Amcor, a consumer packaging company, which has a huge converter film plant in Oshkosh. “These long-standing businesses have built a really nice economy for the area,” says Rathermel. “They’ve helped create office space, they’ve attracted quick-serve restaurants and banks. It just makes for a nice entry point coming into our city. Post-Covid labor crunch, we’re looking at how we can continue to help these key employers, and support their supply chain that exists here. I think modernization is going to be a factor in that expansion.” One of the city’s biggest infrastructure assets is an 11-acre, $2M transload terminal, which is served by Wisconsin and Southern Railroad and operated by Watco Terminal and Port Services. “That was built around five years ago,” shares Rathermel. “It was an initiative to offer more of our businesses access to rail.” The terminal is the first of its kind in northeast Wisconsin and the first publicly-owned terminal in the state. “Anyone within the industrial park, and even from outside the area, can utilize that transload system,” she confirms. “The highways and rail are all accessible from our industrial parks.” As part of its sustainability plan, Oshkosh is innovating in areas like stormwater and solar energy infrastructure. “We’re surrounded by water,” Albright declares. “We’ve got to be cautious with what we’re doing when it comes to stormwater pieces. The city is always investing in protecting our waterways and keeping them looking attractive to our visitors. When we built our industrial parks in the 2000s, we did put in additional stormwater retention, so that’s already in place for a new business or a new business that wants to expand there. We’ve done a lot of the groundwork already, which is great.”