Mercury incentives totaled $70 million in Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle says the state incentive package to keep Mercury Marine in state totals $70 million through a combination of tax credits, grants and forgivable loans.

The local incentive package includes $3 million from the city of Fond du Lac. These funds will be provided to purchase land owned by Mercury Marine and/or in the form of forgivable loans and grants from the City of Fond du Lac and its agencies.

Up to $50 million will be available in the form of a low-interest, performance-based, collateralized loans from Fond du Lac County with guarantees provided by both the city of Fond du Lac and Fond du Lac County. The loan proceeds are to be used for new engine development; the relocation of some of the Stillwater, Okla., manufacturing positions to Fond du Lac; and a retirement incentive payment to union workers.

"Mercury Marine is an iconic Wisconsin company that has provided jobs and investment for this area for more than 70 years," Doyle said in a statement. "Retaining the company and its nearly 2,000 jobs in these difficult times took hard work and cooperation."

In September, union employees at the Fond du Lac plant approved concessions that would allow the company to remain in Wisconsin. Without those concessions, Mercury officials had said they would close the Wisconsin plant and move operations to the company's Stillwater facility.

"Governor Doyle was instrumental in the process of developing agreements that enabled Mercury to remain in Wisconsin," Mercury president Mark Schwabero said in a statement. "Like many companies, Mercury has faced many difficult challenges during the economic downturn, and the governor's insight, strength and commitment helped create solutions necessary for Mercury to continue operating in Wisconsin."

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