Fond du Lac Offers Mercury $53 million to Stay

The County of Fond du Lac, WI announced it has committed US $50 million toward an incentive-based low interest loan to Mercury Marine in order to keep its manufacturing facility in Fond du Lac.

The county offer, combined with a US $3 million offer from the City of Fond du Lac for a total of US $53 million, is to serve as an incentive to prevent Mercury Marine from moving its manufacturing operations to another facility in Stillwater, OK within the next 18 to 24 months.

“We recognized that there were 5,900 jobs impacted both directly and indirectly by the company just here in our county alone,” said Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, president of the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation. “Not only are they our largest employer but they have a significant impact on so many of the other businesses and non-profit organizations in the area. We felt we really needed to be appropriate but aggressive at the same time in doing what we could to assist them with a very challenging business decision.”

According to Hicks-Sorensen, the performance-based loan features credits and penalties depending whether jobs are created, retained or eliminated. Mercury Marine would be eligible for a US $500 credit for each job retained, US $1,000 per job created and penalized US $500 for each position not retained. If Mercury Marine does not remain in Fond du Lac for the loan's full 12-year term, then the entire amount would immediately become payable.

The Fond du Lac Economic Development committee estimates that if Mercury Marine moves its operations, the county's annual earnings losses would total US $353 million.

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