MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced today that Brown County will receive a $500,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to assist in purchasing the former WPS Pulliam Plant property as part of the effort to relocate coal piles away from downtown and expand the economic activity of the Port of Green Bay.

“Acquiring this property and addressing the remaining coal piles has long been an obstacle for folks in Brown County. This grant announcement today will help move the county, city, and Port of Green Bay forward,” said Gov. Evers. “Relocating the coal piles not only promotes new opportunities for the area to bolster economic activity, but will also improve the quality of life for many.”

WEDC will provide Brown County with an Idle Sites Redevelopment (ISR) grant to partially fund the purchase of the 40-acre parcel at the mouth of the Fox River. The property is considered key to efforts by the county and the City of Green Bay to redevelop not only the port, turning the Pulliam Plant site into a port-related industrial property, but portions of downtown Green Bay.

“WEDC is pleased to partner with the city and the county to help fill in the gaps with this important redevelopment project,” said WEDC secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “We believe that this purchase will enable the city and the county to unlock the economic potential of the port and the entire Fox River corridor.”

“Over a decade ago, the city, county, and UW-Green Bay partnered to identify strategic objectives to advance the Port of Green Bay not only for our area, but the economy of northeastern Wisconsin,” says Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach. “The Pulliam site is critical for that long-term strategy to come to fruition. We are very thankful for Governor Evers’ and Secretary Hughes’ support by helping us close the gap for acquiring this strategic asset for future generations to come.”

“WEDC’s critical support for this project will unlock transformational change on Green Bay’s waterfront,” said Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich. “We thank Governor Evers and Secretary Hughes for recognizing the value of the city and county’s work to expand port activity and relocate our coal piles away from downtown, which will benefit the regional economy and dramatically improve the quality-of-life for area residents.”

The Pulliam Plant property has been identified as the most critical parcel for the port expansion project. The port is a designated Foreign Trade Zone and this strategy includes expanding the port activities which will result in increased economic activity and jobs in Green Bay and the northeast region, resulting in a stronger state economy. The former WPS Pulliam Power Plant property was decommissioned in 2016 after years of retiring operational units.

The WEDC ISR Program offers grants to Wisconsin communities to redevelop sites that have been idle, abandoned, or underutilized and redevelopment results in the potential to elevate local economies.