Town of Menasha Elated with Roehl Project Progress


TOWN OF MENASHA — Town officials was convinced to extend sewer and water utilities to the mostly undeveloped northwest corner of the town by a new trucking terminal project four years ago, which is now finally pushing ahead.

A Marshfield-based trucking company, Roehl Transport Inc., started building this fall on a 31,176-square-foot terminal project along County BB west of Irish Road. The project's approximated value is between $3 million to $4 million.

"We expect that we'll be opening right around April 1," said Greg Koepel, Roehl vice president. "Things seem to be progressing pretty well."

Considering the appropinquity to the Outagamie County Regional Airport and Fox River Mall, Koepel pointed out the economic intensity of the area, why Roehl invested in this project.

"What a great place to have a business," he said.

It is believed by Koepel that while the Roehl drivers' trucks are in the terminal for maintenance they will luxuriate in the close proximity of other business, goods, and services.

The 19.3-acre parcel was purchased by Roehl in 2006. It did some early site clearing and went through some permitting concerns with the state about stormwater management that produces some delays.class="newbody"

A couple of years ago, due to the stumbling economy, the project was then pushed to the back burner. "When the recession hit, it really caused us to check up," Koepel said. "We feel a lot better about where things are today. We felt at the time that Menasha was a great spot and we're more positive about that decision today."

Roehl also was keeping an eye on the completion of the U.S. 10-State 441 and U.S. 41 interchange project.

"Certainly the freeway project (advancing into the funding pipeline) is great, great news," Koepel said. "Our trucks are up and down that corridor all the time, all day long. It's a very strong area for us."

Plans require for 15 maintenance technicians to transfer from a rented shared facility in Kaukauna, along with a number o operational managers, fleet managers, trainers, and other support personnel.

"We built the facility to accommodate (future) expansion," he said. "We think the Appleton-Menasha area is a great place to be able to recruit good, quality employees."

Roehl, is a national truckload transportation company operating in the dry van, flat bed, and specialized and refrigerated truck markets. It has 2,300 employees and 1,700 trucks in operation.

Koepel said, "The entire truck is dedicated to one customer."

The new amenity will be a full terminal operation complete with maintenance, driving services operations, training and, of course, support staff.

"We are growing and this is part of our growth plan," Koepel said. "Over time we'll be putting new hires in there. We are a growing company. We've grown through this year and recaptured some staffing through attrition that we did not replace during the recession."

Arden Tews, Town Chairman, is pleased that Roehl is going ahead with the project. "This is going to help the town as the economy keeps moving forward," he said.

Town community development director, George Dearborn, said the town expected more fast development along the town's northwest corner in 2006, but cited the economic depression and financial meltdown greatly dragged land acquisition and development.

Deaborn suspects, now that water and sewer are being extended, other properties will be aggressively marketed.

Four years ago, due to an area wide special assessment levied upon approximately 50 property owners for extending the interceptor across town parkland, the Northwest interceptor became controversial. Which means property owners who has about 1,000 acres of land had to shell out $942 per acre to get the interceptor extended.

"I'm just hoping now with Roehl building that that's a good sign and the economy is starting to turn around," said Pam Mueller, whose 62-acre farm along County BB remains for sale. "I'm certainly hoping it gets businesses to look at my property."

Pam and her husband, Randy, disposed of their dairy herd in part to pay $52,718 to extend the interceptor through the town parkland. "So that we would have access to it on this side of town. It certainly has not progressed as quickly as they said," Mueller said.

According to Mueller they felt that within 3 year at least 25 percent of the land in this areas would be developed. She said it didn't push them out, but it really helped for them to make their decision. Farming was getting harder and harder for them. Without a doubt the traffic on this road (BB) is tremendous, she continues.

"We anticipated if the economy had stayed the way it was that it would developed much more rapidly. Now it's on track again," said Dearborn.