Nov 10, 2015

Janesville City Council approves deal with private jet company

Excerpted from The Janesville Gazette

By Elliott Hughes

A private jet company will get a $100,000 assist from the city of Janesville as it doubles its business.

Monroe-based SC Aviation, whose parent company is Colony Brands, will use the money to build a new 36,720-square-foot hangar at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport. The city council unanimously approved the tax increment financing deal Monday.

The company plans to double the size of its fleet to 24 jets, hire 31 additional employees and use its current 12,000-square-foot hangar as a maintenance facility.

SC Aviation will invest $37 million in the project and pay 21 of those employees more than $31 an hour. The property will be worth $1.1 million.

Economic Development Director Gale Price said the TIF deal came about after the project’s construction bids came in too high and unexpected costs associated with building and fire codes arose.

The TIF deal is apparently a necessity for the company’s expansion, according to city documents. SC Aviation officials were not available for comment Monday and declined comment last week.

Price said Janesville’s fire and building codes are uniform with the rest of the state and are not unreasonable. He said the $100,000 would help the company “bridge the gap” of what it expected to pay for its new hangar.

Council member Richard Gruber said the company’s expansion was another sign of an improving local economy and called the deal “exceptionally reasonable.”

SC Aviation charters jets to connect with Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, Chicago and other Midwestern locations. It opened in 2000, morphing out of the in-house fleet of Colony Brands, then known as Swiss Colony.

Price said business should pick up for SC Aviation with the presence of SHINE Medical Technologies and the incoming Dollar General. He said Colony Brands has 1,000 employees across Wisconsin who can also use the planes.

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