Building Up?

By Marjorie Censer / January 19, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Though the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles rebuy award is on hold as the Army reevaluates the program, the dispute over the contract continues. The focus this time? Oshkosh's funding plans for building an electrodeposition or "E-coat" facility in Wisconsin.

According to a Jan. 17 article in The Northwestern, the Oshkosh Plan Commission is set to examine this week a $5 million assistance package that the company says it needs to build the facility.

The article says Oshkosh is relying on $51.5 million in state, city and company money -- $5 million in a development assistance grant from the city, $35 million from the state and $11.5 million of its own money -- to build the E-coat factory.

However, the article adds, the city is still looking at the package. The city's director of planning services is quoted as saying the new building's anticipated taxable value only allows $4 million in borrowing. Consequently, a $1 million donation from the Southwest Industrial Park tax incremental financing district would also be needed.

Defense analyst and consultant Loren Thompson, who counts competitor BAE Systems among his clients, writes today that the story of Oshkosh's victory over BAE "just keeps getting worse and worse," as reflected in this not-yet-approved aid.

In a statement released today, Oshkosh said the TIF is pending approval by the Oshkosh Common Council and is supported by the city and its partners.

“We look forward to working with the city and the state as we move forward on this project, which was outlined in our original proposal to our customer," said Oshkosh CEO Robert Bohn. "It is so important to have support from our community as we continue to build the products that protect the men and women in our military forces.”