Establishing a new at-grade railroad crossing in Milton, initially scheduled to be in place by Oct. 1 to facilitate development of a chocolate factory, has been postponed for up to nine months.
Wisconsin & Southern Railroad was granted an extension to put in the crossing on County M by July 1, 2022. The request was approved last week by Wisconsin Commissioner of Railroads Yash Wadhwa.
This was the only change to the plan for the crossing, which the commissioner approved in February.
This was the latest rail-related delay affecting the development of a 390,000-square-foot facility by Clasen Quality Chocolate north of Putnam Parkway. In July, the city was waiting for state approval of a requested grant to help pay for construction of a rail spur to serve CQC.
The city plans to install a new railroad track from south of the western end of Putnam Parkway east along its south side and across County M to serve Clasen.
Railway tankers are expected to deliver sugars and food-grade oils to the chocolate factory several times a week.
Site work started in July, but company officials informed the city then that they didn’t expect the manufacturing and distribution facility to be complete until the end of 2022.
The city, at CQC’s request, amended a TIF development agreement accordingly earlier this year.
CQC has committed to creating a project with a taxable value of not less than $29 million. Through the TIF, the city provided an incentive package worth nearly $5.4 million over 12 years or until CQC’s property taxes on the property reach that amount, whichever comes first.
CQC, which specializes in chocolate and confectionery coatings, currently has facilities in Middleton and Watertown and corporate offices in Madison.