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Leaders meet to to save Cold Spring plant

Posted: 1:17 PM, Sep 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-27 14:17:50-04

On Wednesday, Fox Valley Community and business leaders met near the Cold Spring plant for one last push to extend the deadline for the State Senate to vote on an incentives package aiming to keep the plant open and save 500 jobs.

"We're asking both the state and KC to give us a little more time to consider these partnerships. These partnerships that have made the American dream for all of us possible here in the Fox Valley,” said Menasha Mayor Don Merkes.

The State Assembly passed the legislation in February, but the fate of the plant is now in the State Senators' hands and not all support the incentives package.

"Right now, we have no Democrats in the State Senate that are willing to come forward and support this,” said Senator Roger Roth.

Reports also say at least two Republicans have said they will not vote in favor. Senator Roger Roth of Appleton says he believes if the company and Governor Walker pushed the deadline back until after the elections, the plant would be saved.

"That pressure is removed and then senators can do what they should be doing all along. If we look at it from that perspective, I’m confident Republicans and Democrats will join together, and we will be able to save this plant,” said Senator Roth.

He says he thinks politics is playing a role into some senators’ decision not to support the legislation. They also discussed the impacts the community will feel if this plant closes. Not only will the Kimberly Clark employees face job loss, but the places they used to spend their paychecks at will also feel the effects.

NBC26 reached out to Kimberly Clark. The company says: “It is important to finalize our project plans to minimize the uncertainty and distractions being felt by employees at our various sites.”

The Realtors Association of Northeast Wisconsin gave their support to delaying the deadline. They put out a statement, saying in part:

"We hope that extending the deadline 60 days, to November 30th, will provide the legislature with time to adequately deliberate on a potential tax incentive package in a bipartisan manner. "