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Mercury Marine expands again, with additions to machining and casting plants

FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - Mercury Marine expects to complete a $20-million expansion by December at two outboard motor plants in Fond du Lac.

They’ll add 38-thousand square feet of production space which will be filled with equipment over the next two years.

Just like the rest of the economy, Mercury’s business is growing slowly in the wake of the Great Recession.

Still, the firm says there’s a bigger demand for its more powerful recreational outboard of engines of 75-horsepower and higher.

Mercury is paying the for the entire expansion itself, with no government assistance.

Fond du Lac County Executive Allen Buechel says Mercury is doing better than expected, four years after the company said it would move to Oklahoma if it didn’t get union concessions and taxpayer help.

The employees approved the concessions – and city, county, and state taxpayers all chipped in as Mercury decided to close its Oklahoma plant and move the business to Wisconsin.

The firm now has 2,900 employees in Fond du Lac – 1,300 more than in 2009.

Mercury expects to pay off a county loan by 2021, and that’s when a county sales tax is due to end.

Every $20 spent in Fond du Lac County provides 10-cents toward Mercury Marine’s financing.