The mayor of arcadia says he's confident the city's
larget employer is not downsizing.
His comments come after reports that Ashley furniture
could lay off half its workforce.
News 8's Mark McPherson joins us now with more.
Ashley was recently approved for a multi-million dollar
tax break from the state.
As part of the deal.
Ashley would be allowed to lay off workers in the
But the company says their intention is the exact
they say they want to grow their presence in Arcadia.
And the Mayor believes them.
MAYOR - It's been a godsend, it's vital for our community.
Arcadia's mayor is quick to tell you how important
Ashley is to their community.
MAYOR - They help Arcadia and the surrounding areas
to be great communities.
So when reports surfaced that the company could lay
off half their workers.
Kimmer wasn't worried.
MAYOR - Ashley's grown jobs from the beginning, they
are a company that, they put their vision out there
and decide what they want then work tirelessly for
BILL - Reports of job loses wrong...
Ashley says part of their application for a six million
dollar tax break from the state.
included the ability to reduce their workforce down
to 19-hundred workers.
But they say it's there as a precaution.
not a plan to lay off.
BILL - It's a safe harbor number, if we go below that
number as an act of god or a catastrophe, no matter
what we have to have this minumum number of employees
even if they're not working, and if we go below that
number we have to pay the money back.
GOV - Ashley's interests is actually growing the company
and they believe that they'll have more employees
in the future, they're commited to growing, they just
can't grow unless they ultimately can do so outside
of the flood zone.
That flood zone is why ashley applied for the tax
They plan to donate the tax break to the city.
so Arcadia can complete their flood control project.
MAYOR - Flooding has been an ongoing problem for the
last few generations, 50 or better years.
- one of the reasons all of these years have past
without getting these projects done is lack of funding.
The mayor calls the recent reports more political
than anything else.
and has every faith that Ashley will remain an important
part their community.
MAYOR - They find a way to make it work, and they
grow, and they find ways to say yes to wisconsin when
a lot of businesses, they don't.
Ashley has also made a promise to make a 35-million
dollar capital investment in their arcadia facility.
The tax credit comes
from the Wisconsin Economic Development
They were approved for the credit.
but still have to finalize the agreement.
The flood control project would improve the city's
and relocate the Myers Valley Creek.
If the money comes through.
the city hopes to start the project in the spring
of next year.