Franklin’s horrible business climate remains intact after city rejects Strauss expansion

Franklin took another major step at solidifying its well-deserved reputation of being hostile to business when it voted 4-2 against an expanded facility for Strauss Brands, a company that has been in Franklin for nearly 50 years.

As expected, aldermen Kristen Wilhelm, Dan Mayer, and John Nelson voted NO. But a surprise NO vote came from Shari Hanneman who stunningly opted to reject the proposal after rattling off the economic benefits the city would reap from a Strauss expansion.

Before the vote was taken Hanneman boasted of her economic education credentials and told the audience her expertise allowed her to perform her own economic impact study. Hanneman found:

The local economy gets an additional $1.3 million just by Strauss being here.

A Strauss expansion would increase the annual benefit to $2.4 million.

Construction would generate #60 million.

The project would create more than 700 jobs.

The project would generate $4 million in impact fees.

Strauss would pay $300,000 in taxes, far more than it paid in 2019.

So Hanneman’s a supporter, right? Wrong.

Prior to voting NO Hanneman said Strauss and the city could have done a better job of outreach on the proposal, including the creation of an FAQ website page, for example.

All the money Hanneman talked about that she calculated with the help of her Marquette University degree is now gone. She can no longer be trusted to help Mayor Olson’s pro-growth agenda. Personally I now regret having supported her.

And once again, the city of Franklin has delivered a loud and clear disappointing message to potential businesses: Go away. We don’t want you.

Aldermen Mark Dandrea and Mike Barber voted YES.

A final note: The new facility was proposed to be located in Alderman John Nelson’s district. If you should happen to run into Nelson in the days ahead, please consider helping him locate a missing spine.

One thought on “Franklin’s horrible business climate remains intact after city rejects Strauss expansion

  1. The problem seems to be that Franklin always thinks something better is going to come along and it never really happens. Perhaps they envision a Fortune 500 company’s corporate headquarters for the site because being in the middle of nothing is somehow desirable. Or, maybe a new shopping mall because those clearly are the hot trend in real estate. In the meantime, they hound anyone who wants to do anything here and we have empty businesses and areas all over the place.

    I don’t know enough to say whether that proposed expansion was vetted enough or not for today’s decision. It (like other business ideas for Franklin) likely never had a chance with most of this current crew at the helm . Seems very wrong to treat a business who has spent decades being a part of the community this way.

    We have enough parks and paths. We don’t have low enough taxes.

    Franklin’s motto continues: Sitting on its behind at Milwaukee County’s bottom.


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