The Oak Creek Common Council approved the new project at itsmeeting Tuesday. The government agency will pay the city $200,000for 20 acres, and will pay an undisclosed amount to the Van Beckfamily for an adjacent 44 acres. The postal service will also pay$1.4 million, says city administrator Pat DeGrave, in lieu oftaxes. "It's a community impact payment," he tells"The post office doesn't pay property taxes, so they're giving usthis revenue. We're going to put the money into an investmentvehicle and use the interest much like we would taxes on theproperty."


DeGrave says the 2,200 jobs that will come with the new buildingare welcome, especially with the closing of other plants in thearea. Shuttered facilities in the area include aone-million-square-foot Delphi production plant. "Some people inthe area are worried about noise and traffic at the postalfacility, but we wanted to keep these jobs in the Milwaukeearea."


The postal service will also help pay for upgrades andexpansions roads and infrastructure to the area, at theintersection of Pennsylvania and East College avenues. The buildingwill be constructed starting in late 2009 or early 2010, and movein would take place by 2012.


He says the 941,000-square-foot current processing plant inMilwaukee is an aging structure that the government couldn'tjustify using anymore. The Postal Service leases the property froma private investment group, whic reportedly bought the structurelast year for $16 million. The owners could not be reached forcomment. "From what I hear, the multistory property doesn't suittheir purpose anymore, and structural pillars make it impossible toput in automation."

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