March 19, 2011- Gov. Scott Walker had to compete with the clamor of protesters Friday to announce City Brewing Co. will receive almost $500,000 in tax credits for several projects expected to create up to 100 jobs. The crowd pressed signs against a locked entrance downstairs as the governor spoke in the brewhouse, at times sounding like he had a background band of drumbeats and chants.
Hundreds gathered along Third Street in opposition to the governor’s plan to virtually end collective bargaining rights for most state public workers. A Dane County judge Friday temporarily blocked the law from taking effect.
Walker’s remarks in La Crosse primarily focused on the brewery’s planned $13 million in projects over the next three years, which earned it $490,000 in Economic Development Tax Credits from the Department of Commerce.
Such developments aren’t about Republicans or Democrats, “they’re about Wisconsin jobs,” Walker told about a dozen people in the audience.
In a prepared release, Walker said, “Our No. 1 priority is helping Wisconsin businesses create jobs.”
But state Rep. Jennifer Shilling, also at the brewery, said the current governor can’t take credit for a program forged last session by the Democrats and former Gov. Jim Doyle.
“While Gov. Walker is the bearer of good news, make no mistake that City Brewery, LADCO and Gov. Doyle’s administration are the
ones who prepared and facilitated this economic assistance package,” Shilling, D-La Crosse, said in a press release. LADCO is the La Crosse Area Development Corp.
City Brewing now employs 550, more than when it was the former G. Heileman Brewery that closed in 1999, said Greg Inda, vice president and chief financial officer for the company.