State taxpayers may help a Racine County food company build a new plant after a massive fire at the firm last week.
The eight-alarm fire at Echo Lake Foods in Burlington cast some doubt over the plant's future. But Racine county executive Jim Ladwig says during a meeting with the firm on Monday, the company announced its interest in building a new plant at its current location. Ladwig says the county and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation are looking at an incentive package to eventually bring back the 200-300 workers displaced by the fire ... and maybe add more jobs. Ladwig says more details will be worked out once insurance investigators help determine the cause of the blaze: "Obviously everything would be contingent upon that, but according to the reports I've gotten, this does not appear to be a suspicious fire."
Ladwig says the economic package might include low-interest loans. He says he hopes Echo Lake Foods could have a new building within a year.
Tomorrow in Burlington, the state and Racine county are hosting assistance meetings for the workers whose jobs went up in smoke.