Is city offering SHINE too much?
As a story in Thursday's Gazette explained, the city council on Monday will consider offering $5 million worth of assistance and $4 million in loan guarantees so SHINE Medical Technologies, based in Monona, can build a $25 million factory to produce medical isotopes in Janesville. The company also would move its headquarters here.
The package includes $4 million in loan guarantees from a private party, as well as $5 million worth of utilities, land and cash. A development agreement is on Monday’s agenda. The agreement includes benchmarks that SHINE must hit in order to get various parts of the incentives. If the plan comes to fruition, the city would recoup all its investments within about 10 years from property taxes on a development expected to be worth $25 million.
Risks include SHINE’s need to get federal approvals, uncertain technology, possible foreign competition and the need for a federally-approved plan and site to dispose of radioactive waste. Council President Russ Steeber said, in a separate story in Thurday's Gazette, that the risks are worth taking because this could be a “game-changer” in redefining Janesville’s economy without the auto industry.
Supporters point out that, besides the boost in the tax base, the project could bring 125 jobs with good pay to Janesville and might encourage other developments of high-tech, advanced manufacturing and health care to locate here. Do you think those possibilities indeed make the risks worth taking?