FOND DU LAC, Wis. — Boat engine maker Mercury Marine has asked Fond du Lac County for a $10 million loan to help fund its $30 million expansion, and local leaders said they were looking favorably on the request.
The company has said the expansion will bring 300 new jobs to the area.
“These are good manufacturing jobs and (local) unemployment is about 6.2 percent,” Fond du Lac County Executive Allen Buechel told The Reporter Media.
County supervisors are expected to vote on the request Tuesday as an amendment to a 2009 loan agreement. The county previously gave Mercury Marine $50 million in performance-based loans to help encourage consolidation of its operations in the area.
Mercury Marine has doubled its Fond du Lac County workforce since to 2009 and now has more than 3,000 employees there. Mercury Marine is a unit of Lake Forest-based Brunswick Corp.
“Mercury Marine has invested $300 million in research and development and $210 million in capital expenditures from 2009 to 2013,” company spokesperson Steve Fleming added.
Much of the investment has gone toward creating state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, he said. The loan from Fond du Lac County will go toward adding 35,000 square feet for die cast and machining that will include $12 million in manufacturing equipment.
The $10 million loan would be repayable over eight years. Mercury Marine will receive a $1,000 per employee annual credit for each new worker hired, with a cap of 300.