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Tue, Apr 12, 2011

City Of Oshkosh May Look To Expand Aviation Presence

Chamber Of Commerce Leader Calls For Construction Of Aviation Business Park

The president and CEO of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce wants the city of Oshkosh and Winnebago County to pave the way for an aviation business park adjacent to Wittman Regional Airport, a move he says will establish the city's place as a "leader in the aviation community."


In a commentary published in the Northwestern, John Casper calls on the county to buy two parcels which abut the southeasten end of KOSH for the project, which he says according to a University of Wisconsin - Extension study would create over 1,600 jobs and generate $343 million in increased sales, as well as $8.4 million in tax revenue.

Casper says in the commentary that the $3.2 million investment would likely be reimbursable to the county government. He says the airport authority has already petitioned the Aeronautics Bureau of the Wisconsin DOT for a grant to pay back 97.5 percent of that purchase price, with 95 percent of that figure coming from the FAA. The remainder ... or the cost to the taxpayers ... would be about $80,000.

The city's role would be to establish a TIF (Tax Increment Financing instrument) to help pay for infrastructure and other improvements at the site.

Overall, Casper says, the city and county investment would be about $6 million for land acquisition, infrastructure, and other improvements. He points to the success of another business park in Oshkosh which employs 3,500 people after being established 20 years ago as an example of the potential success of the airpark.

The County Board of Supervisors will consider the land acquisition at its meeting on April 19th.



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