County Executive Jim Kreuser delivered his 2017 State of the County Address to the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday detailing recent economic development gains and praising county innovations.
“The State of Kenosha County is very, very strong and Kenosha County is leading the way in many, many areas,” Kreuser said. “We are in great financial shape at a AA+ bond rating, we have solid reserves and we continue to be the sweet spot in the state for economic development and jobs.”
Kreuser noted that Haribo, the German candy maker, selected Kenosha County for its first North American manufacturing facility. The company plans to start with 400 new jobs at a Pleasant Prairie location, and is expected to grow. The company will also bring benefits to the Village of Bristol, he said.
“This win for Kenosha County is another great example of communities across Kenosha County working together to get things done,” he said.
Kreuser talked about the merger of Salem and Silver Lake as the Village of Salem Lakes, and the Village of Somers, Paris and the City of Kenosha working together for economic development, among some of the highlights of municipal cooperation in the county.
Economic development gains, in addition to Haribo, include Vonco Products in the new Salem Business Park; Airens, the snowblower company, to First Park 94 in Somers; and Colbert Packaging to the Kenosha Business Park. Kreuser thanked the Kenosha Area Business Alliance for overseeing the county’s High Impact Fund, which, since its inception, has contributed to the creation of nearly 1,500 new jobs and $168 million in new private investment.
Critical to building on the economic development gains in the future, will be continued support of necessary infrastructure projects over the next decade, including the state completing I-94 for Kenosha and Racine Counties, he said.
Kreuser applauded the innovation and accomplishments of county departments to continually be more efficient and effective in serving the public.
“We must remain lean and nimble as we plan for our future growth AND for what changes lie ahead at the state and federal levels. And, we continue to advance our methods of halting any fraud and abuses in our system,” Kreuser said.
“We must continue to build upon our infrastructure improvements and enhance quality of life amenities to attract and retain residents and new businesses. We must continue to look for innovative ways to deliver professional services with integrity, and cost effectiveness, and to be a leader in technology-driven services,” he added.
Kreuser said that the county will continue on the track toward a AAA bond rating. “We are fiscally on the correct course for moving all of Kenosha County forward,” he said.
“The State of Kenosha County is very, very strong and Kenosha County is leading the way in economic development and jobs, fiscal strength, mental health and opioid issues, innovation, and, good county operations,” Kreuser said. “I know we will continue to work together to keep Kenosha County growing and make Kenosha County even better tomorrow than it is today!”
View State of the County News Release
View State of the County Speech
View State of the County PowerPoint Presentation
View April 5, 2017 County Board Meeting and State of the County Address