City Council Approves Natus TIF

MTT News Desk's picture
By: 
Cameron Bren

The Middleton Common Council last week unanimously approved the use of up to $400,000 in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to help fund the expansion of Natus Neurology.

Natus Neurology maintains its North American corporate headquarters in the Good Neighbor City.  The company provides healthcare products used for the screening, detection, treatment, monitoring and tracking of common medical ailments in newborn care. 

Products are sold worldwide with distributers in more than 100 countries. 

The company recently decided to expand its headquarters and wants to maintain its Middleton location.  The expansion will ramp up its customer training, supplier/contractor and corporate business meetings. 

This is expected to have a substantial positive impact on the local economy, increasing commerce at hotels, restaurants, and in entertainment and shopping.  Natus also pledges to the city it will maintain 174 full time positions after the project is complete.

“We are talking about a company expanding and creating a global headquarters for its neurology division in Middleton,” commented ald. Mark Sullivan (Dist. 8).

For the expansion, Natus Neurology plans to move into a facility owned by Fairview Ridge LLC, a Wisconsin limited liability company. 

The facility needs to be developed by adding a mezzanine level and making other internal changes to the property.  

The changes will make it more suitable for laboratories and offices for the medical device business. 

The total cost of the project will reach nearly $1.5 million.  Fairview Ridge agrees to pay for the changes with the availability of tax increment financing to recover certain costs.  The company is eligible under state statutes that authorize the city to provide economic development assistance for project costs and other development incentives. 

Middleton will pay no more than $400,000 in the agreement.  The city plans to hold the developer accountable by reducing the annual payment by $230 per employee if the number of staff drops below the pledged amount of 174 full-time positions.  

The motion was passed unanimously, with ald. Mark Sullivan recusing himself. 

The council viewed the project as a positive economic development for the city.  Council members said they felt it important to keep the Natus Neurology headquarters in Middleton while the company looks to expand. 

Some even compared Natus in Middleton to Epic in Verona, though Natus’ new headquarters will not be nearly the scale of Epic’s operations. 

“Lets not forget what it means to have a company's global headquarters in your city,” said ald. Howard Teal (Dist. 5). “Think of what Epic has done for Verona.  Nobody knew where Verona was, you had to look on a map before they moved down there.”

It was also noted that the revenue generated from the property tax funding future water runoff mitigation projects.    

“Here we're offering TIF as assistance to enhance a building to accommodate a use and not create anymore impervious area,” said ald. Hans Hilbert (Dist. 7). “To take raw land or add an addition on would probably create a lot more storm water runoff.”

“A lot of that is already in place and this really enhances the overall TIF goals of TIF 3,” Hilbert continued, “and the finance we can leverage off of the finances we have already put in place to create that in this area and keep a business like this."  

 

 

 

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