Possible Bio-fuel Plant at Mill Race Crossing

By: Shannon Smith
By: Shannon Smith

FREEPORT (WIFR) – Hundreds of jobs could be on the way to Freeport if a new proposal goes through to build a bio-fuel plant on the Mill Race Property, an area that’s been empty for more than 7 years.

The nearly 150 acres of land known as Mill Race Crossing in Freeport may be getting a makeover. The Iowa based company, Energenetics Energies is eying the Pretzel City to possibly open their first bio-fuel plant.

“They like this area, they would be a good fit for this area because of the agricultural communities.”

Reps from Energenetics met with the Stephenson County Board this week to start talking about a proposal for the property.

“They like Mill Race because where it’s at, it’s close to four major areas where they would market in, Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and Rockford,” said Stephenson County Board Chariman Bill Hadley.

It cost $6 million for the Stephenson County Board to not only buy and develop this land, they initially planned to turn it into an industrial park, however for the last 7 years it’s sat empty.

This isn’t the first time someone’s been interested in this property. Plans for an ethanol plant and pork processing facility previously fell through.

“I think there are great possibilities and if it’s not Energenetics, then I hope it will be another company, but we’re going to keep working on this issue of jobs and income for people.”

If the plan moves forward, it could bring 600 jobs and other possibilities to the area.

County Board Chairman Bill Hadley says he’s hoping for the best with this possible partnership. He says he’s even been invited to tour the Energenetics offices in Iowa.

No final plans have been set yet. County Board members say they’re waiting on the state to approve Energenetics’ proposal. We’re told representatives from the company are also considering other locations in Missouri and Rhode Island.


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