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    Kwik Trip Gets Public Help for Growth Projects

    C-store chain will receive tax rebates for dairy expansion.

    LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Kwik Trip, the 400-plus store convenience chain based here, received approval last week from the La Crosse Common Council for two proposed expansion projects, including a $31.9 million dairy facility.

    According to the La Crosse Tribune, the city will provide some tax repayment to Kwik Trip to help pay for construction of the 65,000-square-foot dairy expansion.

    The company will receive 8.5 percent annually of the estimated $5 million or more in additional real estate value created by the development, or about $425,000 total. This "reverse TIF (Tax Incremental Financing)" arrangement is expected to be paid off within four years, city officials said.

    The agreement comes over the earlier objections of the mayor against providing TIF money for private development, but the Tribune reports the mayor did not say he would veto the agreement. A veto would be a largely symbolic gesture since the council voted 16-0 in favor with one abstention.

    The Tribune also reported that the city will seek grant funds to clean up a city-owned contaminated property and attempt to purchase an adjacent lot. If both efforts are successful, this will be the site of a 30,000-square-foot freezer Kwik Trip wants to build for its bakery products.

    The city had agreed to lease the land to Kwik Trip for $20,000 a year for up to 20 years and Kwik Trip has indicated it intends to buy the land when it's clear of contamination, according to the report. The lease payment may still be amended to adjust for inflation.

    The agreement requires Kwik Trip to create 100 new jobs lasting at least five years, plus retain current hiring levels in the city.

    Kwik Trip had not previously sought city assistance for development but said it needed the help to keep pace in a competitive market, according to the report.

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