These extra costs would come from new regional bus service that would be set up between Milwaukee and the Foxconn site in Racine County. The theory is that Milwaukee has the highest pool of workers within 25 miles of the plant, and the transit service could remove barriers to getting jobs at Foxconn.
[Milwaukee County board chair Theodore] Lipscomb is proposing using about $4.5 million available after the county sold the former Midwest Airlines hanger for nearly $7.3 million. The hanger was used as collateral to secure industrial revenue development bonds in 2003. Racine County and the [Wisconsin] Department of Commerce were also involved in supporting the project.Decent idea, and it sounds like the start-up funds are there. But the problem is that the costs will continue year-after-year, and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission says that will cost taxpayers quite a bit every year.
"I invite Racine and the WEDC to partner with Milwaukee and create a new bus route servong Foxconn, which could be expanded in the future," Lipscomb wrote. "While we could divvy up the $4.5 million, so that each party's share could go into our general funds, that would mean foregoing the opportunity of working together and capitalizing on massive investment in the region."
The analysis by SEWRPC suggested if the Milwaukee County Transit System were to operate the bus lines it would require the purchase of between three and 11 busses, depnding on the number of round trips per day.Let's not forget that last month, the Wisconsin DOT was talking about spending $195 million to upgrade rail between Milwaukee and Chicago, including a stop in the Foxconn-sin region.
The county could also work with a private contractor to use coach buses to move workers from downtown Milwaukee and Racine to the Mount Pleasant site. Depending on ridership, the routes would require $144,000 to $529,000 in additional support from the counties or the state with four round-trips daily; $288,000 to $1,059,000 with eight round-trips and $433,000 to $1,588,000 for 12 round-trips.
And you know who I don't see stepping up to pay any of this? FOXCONN themselves! They are more than happy to let taxpayers shell out for the extra transportation needs their plant is causing.
And it'll be hard to convince the state to come up with more money from a Transportation Fund that already has a $1 billion deficit, increasing debt, and increasing numbers of potholes to fill.
Which then will drop it to the locals to give YET ANOTHER subsidy to the Fox-con. And with so many Racine County residents being hit with eminent domain, who is going to be left to pay for that?
The more you look at this thing, the better off most of us would be if Foxconn never gets built.