SPARTA, Wis. (AP) — Century Foods International says it is offering to buy a proposed Sparta ethanol plant site for the same price Coulee Area Renewable Energy paid, which it believes to be about $1.75 million.
Century also said it was committed to giving the city of Sparta $250,000 to create an economic development plan to recruit industry to the site, which is located near Century Foods main facility.
Century officials have contended emissions from the proposed ethanol plant will contaminate its milk-based products and endanger employees jobs. But farmers and other investors in plant have disputed those claims.
''We're offering to make a major financial commitment to ensure CARE is reimbursed for purchasing the land and that the city of Sparta will have the resources to attract development that will not threaten our products,'' company president Tom Miskowski said.
The company hopes to sell the vast majority of the 82-acre site for development by other businesses, he said, but ''what we would do is certainly keep a portion for future expansion.''
Century Foods said in a letter to the Sparta mayor and City Council that, in order to take advantage of the offer, the council and planning commission needed to reject a zoning ordinance.
On July 16, the Sparta City Planning Commission postponed for 30 days a recommendation on rezoning the site. But the proposed rezoning from agriculture to manufacturing is on the agenda for the planning commission's meeting Monday night.