Keller named general contractor for ProAmpac expansion in Hartford

By Joe VanDeLaarschot

Jan. 20, 2019

HARTFORD — Keller Construction, with offices in the Fox Cities, has been named the general contractor for a major expansion of the ProAmpac facility at 2261 Innovation Way in the city’s industrial park.

“We’ve received no notice yet as to when they are going to move forward with construction,” said City Planner Justin Drew. “They still need further approvals from the city.

ProAmpac, formerly known as Polyfirst Packaging, is one of the country’s largest producers of specialty plastic bags and plastic packaging. The company is proposing an addition at its Hartford facility that includes moving two silos further away from Innovation Way. ProAmPac uses plastic pellets to produce plastic bags. Because of the large quantity of pellets the company uses and prefers to ship a larger quantity of the pellets and store them in outdoor silos.

In August the city’s Plan Commission approved a preliminary site plan for the project. Because the property is within the city’s wellhead protection overlay district, which is intended to prevent contamination of ground water near active municipal well 15, the city must review and approve what changes are made within that territory.

“The silos do not appear to pose a threat to the well,” Drew said during the August meeting.

According to documents included with the site review summary, there are six silos on the site now; two are 34 feet tall and four are 20 feet tall. They are located east of the building set back 300 feet from Innovation Way.

“Under the proposal, a new concrete pad set back 400 feet from Innovation Way would be added,” Drew said. “The two 34-foot silos would be moved to the new concrete pad. Two additional 34-foot tall silos would also be placed on the current pad. In addition, two 60-foot tall silos would be placed on the new concrete pad.”

The existing building, Drew said, has a 68-foot tall tower to accommodate manufacturing equipment, while the maximum allowable height in the zoning district is 45 feet.

“The Plan Commission can waive this for certain structures, including silos,” Drew said. “Given the distance from Innovation Way to the proposed silos, staff believes that the height modification should be approved.”

The city’s TIF District 9, which includes the ProAm Pac facility, was created in September 2018 to allow the expansion of ProAmpac and to facilitate two public purpose projects by the city.

It is an industrial district which covers about 61.5 acres. A TIF district uses additional property taxes generated within its borders through increased economic development to pay for infrastructure such as sewer and water, storm water management, roads, access to electricity and natural gas, and other improvements. In an earlier ProAmpac project, the company completed extending a railroad spur so they can ship raw materials in bulk via railcar instead of by truck because the rail method is less expensive.

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