Black River Falls Industrial Park

Black River Falls is located on the Black River in Jackson County, strategically located along I-94 between the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and Chicago. The city’s 3,600 residents benefit from a diversified economy that successfully blends tourism, retail, agriculture and industry. Black River Falls is home to many large employers because of its proximity to transportation; Interstate 94, U.S. Highway 12, State Highway 54 and State Highway 27 are major arteries for the community. This Certified Site is located in the Black River Falls Industrial Park, which is part of a developed industrial section of the city, located within city limits. The park is adjacent to Highway 54 and Interstate 94.

Site Features & Contact

75.89 contiguous acres of buildable lands

Access roads in place to site, or plans in place to extend access roads to site

No utility easements that would prevent development

Proximity to interstate and other highways

No wetlands present on the site

Commercial airport access

No known environmental impediments to immediate industrial development

Freight airport access

No known archaeological/historical impediments to immediate industrial development

Rail access

No known impediments to immediate development related to endangered species

American Land Trust Association (ALTA) survey

Fire insurance classification rating 4

Site not located on or adjacent to flood plain

Industrial zoning

Flight path certifications not proximate of any airport

Zoning of surrounding properties compatible with industrial development of site

No significant topography issues

A. Brad Chown, City Administrator
City of Black River Falls
101 South Second Street
Black River Falls, WI 54615

715.284.5514

city.admin@blackriverfalls.us
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Community Intro

Requirement Comments

Community overview

  • General community fit for industrial activity
  • City of Black River Falls is a community of ~3,600 people located nearly equidistant (130-140 miles) from the Madison and Minneapolis-St. Paul metro areas.
  • The city is also located approx. 55 miles from Eau Claire and La Crosse, which both offer access to airports and University of Wisconsin campuses.
  • Total labor force of ~244,400 within a 45-minute radius, of which 14.3% are employed in manufacturing, 6.0% in transportation/warehousing, and 2.5% in professional, scientific, and technical roles (including engineers).
  • The existing industrial operations in the area can be characterized as light manufacturing with a focus on animal food processing, e.g. Land-O-Lakes and Antler King.
  • Workforce development is supported by Western Technical College, which has a campus in downtown Black River Falls.
  • Older, established downtown is seeking to increase development and attractiveness of the area; new businesses including a wine/coffee bar are planned.
  • The community recently invested approx. $20 million into new elementary and secondary education facilities, and built a new state-of-the-art community center, offering both arts and fitness-related activities.

Site environment overview

  • General surroundings fit for industrial activity
  • The site is adjacent to an existing industrial park with light assembly and light manufacturing operations already in place; the site would represent a substantial increase in usage to the area.
  • The property sits ~2.5 miles northeast of downtown Black River Falls at the intersection of city and town boundary lines. Annexation of the site into the City of Black River Falls would not be required for the site to receive TIF funding, and an existing partnership between the City of Black River Falls and the adjacent Town of Brockway enables sewer utility service at the site.
  • There is a mix of institutional uses and industrial users near the property, including a medium-security correctional facility and several operations of the Ho-Chunk Nation Native American Tribe; the other industrial park users include Land-O-Lakes, Antler King and Meister Forest Products.
  • An adjacent 30 acres that sits to the south of the property was originally considered as part of the proposed development, but was not incorporated due to wetland concerns on-site.

Roadway access

  • Proximity to interstate and other highways providing convenient access for labor and logistics
  • Access roads in place to site, or plans in place to extend access road(s) to site
  • Property is located 1.3 miles northeast of I-94
  • Dual access points available from Airport Road as well as Timber Road
  • Southern entrance to the park at W. Bauer Road is being improved to make it easier for truck traffic, and a northern entrance would be available via Red Iron Road.
  • Roadway access & transportation map

Rail access (if applicable) – not required

  • Feasibility of service (if site is to be marketed as rail-served)
  • Site is currently not rail served, but a spur originating from a nearby Union Pacific main line (Milwaukee to Eau Claire) presently serves Land-O-Lakes and dead ends approx. 500 feet south of the property line and could be extended; find a rail access map here.
  • Local community representatives have rendered a concept displaying an extension of this spur onto the site to provide rail service to prospective users.
  • Formal discussions were held with Union Pacific approx. 10 years ago regarding the potential to serve this property; should rail service at this site be of interest, the community would need to engage Union Pacific to confirm feasibility. Find communication on this rail option here.

Commercial airport access – access to airport(s) with commercial air service

  • Driving distance to proximate commercial airport(s) and overview of service available
  • Black River Falls Area Airport (BCK) is a general aviation facility located approx. 5 miles southwest of the site (private commercial service)
  • The site is nearly equidistant from La Crosse and Eau Claire airports, approx. 55 miles away
  • La Crosse has multiple flights per day to Minneapolis-St. Paul or Chicago O’Hare to connect to other locations
  • For larger commercial airports, the site is about 2 hours to the Madison airport (125 miles) or 2.5 hours to Minneapolis-St. Paul airport (145 miles)
  • View airport access map here.

Freight airport access – access to airport(s) with freight air service

  • Driving distance to proximate
    airport(s)
  • Description of the handling capacity of each proximate freight airport (e.g., current tonnage/year, runway length)

Site Intro

Requirement Comments

Master site plan and/or site plan illustrating exact dimensions and number of parcels for the specific site being submitted for certification

  • Minimum of 20 contiguous developable acres

Aerial photograph illustrating the specific site being submitted for certification as well as the surrounding properties

ALTA Survey (American Land Trust Association) inclusive of site being submitted for certification

  • An ALTA survey for the site has been completed and provided (Nov. 17, 2016).

Flood plain map (FEMA-produced FIRM map)

  • No part of the site may be located on (or directly adjacent to) a flood plain
  • FEMA-produced FIRM map submitted (dated Sept. 28, 2012).
  • No part of site is on or directly adjacent to a floodplain.

Flight path specifications (if site is within 2 miles of an airport)

  • Documentation (letter or map from FAA) indicating any restrictions related to airport proximity
  • Site is not located within 2 miles of any airport.
  • FAA letter

Ownership – entire site must be wholly controlled by a single owner with documented willingness to sell to an industrial user

Asking price – current asking price for sale or lease of the land must be indicated

  • Documentation of asking price on a per-acre basis
  • The City of Black River Falls has communicated its asking price of $5,000 per acre for the property as-is.
  • The city has also indicated it may offer a discounted sales price and site improvements to support economic development projects with sizable job creation and quality jobs.
  • Sale price documentation

Topography – no significant topography issues that could present major obstacles to industrial development of the site

  • Topographic map with clearly defined contour intervals of 2’ or less
  • A current topographical map is provided showing two-foot contours.
  • The property has 4 feet of net grade change across the site (elevation of 856 feet to 860 feet).

Easements – site not intersected by utility or any other easement that would prevent development of 20 contiguous acres of the site

  • Maps of all utility infrastructure directly proximate to (or intersecting) the site
  • Maps of utilities and ALTA survey with easements has been provided.
  • Existing City of Black River Falls water and wastewater lines currently transect the western half of the 76-acre site. The City (which is also the owner of the site) has already abandoned any easements associated with these two lines on the property and has committed to relocating the lines offsite if needed for a project seeking to develop the western acreage.
  • Existing electrical lines transgress a small portion of the site at the very southeast corner; not deemed to be detrimental to future development.
  • An ATV/recreational path currently runs through the property, but an agreement is in place with Jackson County to relocate the path with notice of development.

Wetlands – demonstrate that a user can utilize 20 contiguous acres that are not affected by wetlands

  • Wetlands delineation report conducted on the site, demonstrating that impacts to be protected waters will be avoided (or approved mitigation plans)
  • A wetland delineation study was completed on the site in August 2016 indicating no jurisdictional wetlands on the site.
  • The study did reveal wetland indicator soils located onsite, but did not reveal any delineated wetlands.
  • A wetland was identified on the adjacent property to the south of the site.

Environmental assessment – no known environmental impediments to immediate industrial development

  • Phase I within the past 2 years; remediated sites provide completed Phase II and documentation of liability protection

Geotechnical – minimum of 5 soil borings (for 20-acre site); no presence of sinkholes or limestone caves; suitable water content/water table depth

  • 5 soil borings were drilled in a distributed pattern across the site, and a subsurface exploration study was completed in July 2016.
  • Groundwater was found in one boring at 25.5 feet below the surface; groundwater was not observed in any of the other borings.
  • Geotechnical report

Archaeological/historical – no known archaeological/historical impediments to immediate industrial development

  • Archaeological survey was conducted in July 2016 by a Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation-approved consultant.
  • No archaeological sites were identified on site; the land was previously owned by the Jackson County Iron Company, but it was not believed to be mined.

Endangered species – no known impediments to immediate industrial development related to endangered species

Fire protection

  • Fire insurance classification rating
  • Distance to the nearest servicing fire department

Zoning

Requirement Comments

Industrial zoning (or equivalent) currently in place, or zoning change procedure underway as of field investigation

  • Zoning certificate and relevant ordinance; or letter from municipal authorities communicating status of zoning change procedure as of field investigation date
  • Site is zoned Light Industrial (I-2); permitted uses include manufacturing and assembly operations; manufacturing, general fabricating and processing; research laboratories and facilities, warehousing and supply yard contractor, among others.
  • Comprehensive list of permitted and conditional uses currently in place for I-2 zoning to ensure that the site’s ultimate user aligns with the City of Black River Falls’ vision for the property/area, which has not been explicitly defined; alignment will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • An Industrial Park Commission exists that will review and weigh in on the proposed uses for the property, but is not an authoritative body; only the City Council has approval rights.

Surrounding area zoning – zoning of surrounding properties compatible with industrial development of site

  • Comprehensive plan of area (if applicable)
  • Zoning map of area including site (if applicable)
  • Existing/planned zoning of surrounding land
  • Codes, covenants, and restrictions on site and surrounding sites, as applicable
  • Site is located in a mixed-use area where it is directly adjacent to open space and industrial and institutional uses.
  • The City of Black River Falls has communicated in writing its desire to see the property developed with industrial uses.
  • The Industrial Park Commission will have review rights to the proposed uses, but does not have authoritative power and does not impose any codes, covenants or restrictions impacting future development.
  • No height restrictions are presently in place for the site.

Electric & Gas Utility Infrastructure

Requirement Comments

Proximate electric power infrastructure availability and capacities

  • Utility maps indicating location and current size/capacity of proximate transmission lines, distribution lines, and substations; available capacity that could be provided to the site for each of the above
  • Service would be provided by the Jackson Electric Cooperative, which has lines running around the perimeter of the site at 7.2kv.
  • Currently this line is at 50% capacity; no upgrades are planned presently.
  • There are two circuits serving the site that originate from a 10.5 MVA substation 2,500 feet away.
  • Xcel Energy’s transmission line intersects the property in the southeast corner, but would not serve the property, nor majorly impact any future development.
  • Electrical rates range from $0.0570 – $0.0920 depending on season and peak use.
  • Electric service documentation
  • Fiber optic documentation

Detailed description of dual feed potential (current or proposed redundant service)

  • Overview (and map) illustrating dual feed electric service routes, including location, size and capacity of each node of delivery (substation, distribution line, etc.)
  • Dual feed infrastructure currently in place. One feed would come from the 10.5 MVA substation 2,500 feet from the site. An additional feed is in place from a 10.5 MVA substation 4.5 miles away.
  • Available capacity on the substation further from the site is unknown.
  • Electric service documentation
  • Fiber optic documentation

Introduction of any proposed improvements to/extensions of electric service to the site

  • Cost, timing and funding responsibility of any improvements required to provide proposed service to the site
  • The nearby substation is at 75% capacity and overall electricity capacity is being studied in 2017, though no plans to increase capacity today have been planned.
  • The Ho-Chunk Nation Native American Tribe has a casino near the site that utilizes this substation and is in the process of building its expansion, which will likely further reduce capacity.

Proximate natural gas infrastructure availability and capacities

  • Utility maps indicating location and current size/capacity of proximate transmission lines, distribution lines, delivery points, etc; available capacity that could be provided to the site for each of the above
  • We Energies is the natural gas provider, and serves the site with a 3-inch transmission line with 60 PSI pressure that is proximate to the site boundary along Airport Road.
  • A new regulator station located 0.25 miles south of the site was placed into service in the summer of 2015 and serves the line adjacent to the site.
  • Expected gas rates range from $0.4915 – $0.7103 per therm
  • Natural gas documentation

Introduction of any proposed improvements to/extensions of natural gas service to the site

  • Cost, timing and funding responsibility of any improvements required to provide proposed service to the site
  • A new gas regulator station was installed along Red Iron Road in the summer of 2015; no other upgrades are planned at this time.

Proximate water and wastewater infrastructure availability and capacities

  • Water City of Black River Falls is the provider. Two wells sit northwest of the site, with a total capacity of 860,000 gallons per day and 70% of capacity available for the service area; site is served by a 12” loop line with a pressure of approx. 50 psi and flow at 2½” of 1,175 gallons per minute. Water lines currently are on-site but have not been recorded with the city, and could be relocated without further approvals and using TIF funding for the expense.
  • Wastewater City of Black River Falls (in partnership with the Town of Brockway) is the provider. City lines transport sewage to Town of Brockway pump stations. 10-inch sewer line runs along Red Iron Road and Timber Road that is new and has 100% capacity; sewer lines currently dead end on-site but have not been recorded with the city, and could be relocated without further approvals and using TIF funding for the expense.

Introduction of any proposed improvements to/extensions of water and/or wastewater service to the site

  • Water: No upgrades to the water system are currently planned.
  • Wastewater: Existing wastewater treatment facility has 30% capacity remaining for suspended solids and 5-10% for BODs. The City of Black River Falls has already evaluated a number of options for expanding capacity at the plant, including mechanical enhancements as well as expanding onto adjacent acreage.