Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WPPI to Expand Sun Prairie Headquarters (Press Release)

News Release
May 28, 2008
Contact: Patty Schenker, (608) 834-4598

WPPI Board of Directors approves building expansion plan
Utility will seek LEED “Gold” certification for headquarters

SUN PRAIRIE, WIS., May 28 – The Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI) Board of Directors voted to expand and remodel its Sun Prairie headquarters to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) New Construction (NC) “Gold” standards for energy efficiency and sustainability.

At its May 2008 meeting, the WPPI Board of Directors unanimously approved the WPPI operations and office facility building plan. WPPI will break ground for the $6.9 million addition and remodel project in September 2008.

“WPPI has experienced significant growth in the past several years, and our current facility is not meeting our demand for additional space,” said Vice President of Customer Services and Administration Tom Paque.

WPPI’s existing operations and office facility was built in 1990, when the nonprofit power supplier served 30 member municipal utilities and had 17 employees. WPPI now has 83 employees serving 49 community-owned utilities. Space requirements for the expansion are based on a 20 year projection.

The improvements will provide significantly more space, and the facility will be built to LEED NC “Gold” standards, using less energy and allowing more light into the building.

“As part of WPPI’s efforts to lead by example in the areas of energy conservation, efficiency, and the use of renewables, our new office and operations facility will meet high standards for energy efficiency and sustainability,” said President and CEO Roy Thilly. “Through the use of sustainable design, we will create an environmentally friendly facility and an excellent work environment for our employees.”

LEED for NC offers several environmental, financial and occupant-oriented performance and health benefits, including lower operating costs and increased asset value, improved occupant health and well-being, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to “green” design features like natural lighting, reused or recycled content building materials, and a resource-efficient landscape, WPPI’s new building will feature additional conference rooms and cubicles, an attractive first floor lobby, more employee and guest parking, a fitness center and an employee breakroom.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification is an achievement that signifies that the building is designed and is operating exactly as it was intended.

“LEED certification is becoming a fast-growing trend, as people are realizing the strong market for its standards in business,” said Bill Rattunde, an AIA and LEED accredited professional from PLANNING Design Build, Inc. “High-performance buildings are a great strategy for reducing risk and solving problems in human environments, and this is what LEED is all about.”

WPPI’s building expansion and remodel will be completed in two construction phases. During the first phase of the construction process employees will continue operation in the existing building while the addition is completed. Employees will transition into the new addition during the second phase of the project, while the existing facility is being remodeled and upgraded.

The exterior of the 49,705 square-foot addition will incorporate design elements from the existing 26,000 square-foot building, providing continuity for the facility’s appearance as a whole. The project is scheduled for completion in September 2009.

WPPI is a regional power company serving 49 customer-owned electric utilities. Through WPPI, these public power utilities share resources and own generation facilities to provide reliable, affordable electricity to more than 190,000 homes and businesses in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa.

Click here for coverage including rendering of the new building in Sun Prairie Today.

Click here for the article in the Sun Prairie Star.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sassy Cow Creamery to Give Tours on May 24th

On May 24th, Sassy Cow Creamery will be giving tours of the creamery and farms along with other activities for the entire family...take a picture with a calf, contests, ice cream samples and more.

Their on-site retail store is now open. They carry their own products, in addition to other local products including--cheese, yogurt, jams, honey, mustards, and eggs.

Visit the Sassy Cow Creamery website for more information and directions.

Friday, May 23, 2008

New Northeast YMCA Wins Design Award

The YMCA of Dane County is proud to announce the Northeast YMCA Branch located in Sun Prairie's Smith's Crossing development by Reiner Rd. was selected by the Wisconsin Builder Magazine's Top 30 building projects of 2007.

This year, Wisconsin Builder focused on three specific areas to select the best of the best. Projects were rated on benefit they provide to the community they are in, challenges overcome in completing them and advancement they offer to the construction industry.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Menu Store Ready to Launch in Sun Prairie (Capital Times)

My Menu has posted coming soon signs in a storefront at Sun Towne Plaza in Sun Prairie (near the new Park Bank, Subway and Burracho's at the intersection of STH 19 and Grand Ave.).

My Menu is a new retail concept being launched this summer in the Madison area by Ontario-based M&M Meat Shops Ltd. According to the company's Web site, My Menu will offer frozen meal options such as beef, chicken and seafood, desserts, hors d'oeuvres in single servings and family-size entrees.

Click here for the full article in the Capital Times.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sun Prairie Veterinary Clinic Wins New Medical Equipment (The Earth Times)

Summit VetPharm concluded "The Great Vectra 3D(TM)" Giveaway by outfitting a veterinary clinic in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with new, state-of-the-art medical equipment. Dr. Sean Raleigh of Sun Prairie Veterinary Clinic in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin was chosen in the March drawing as the contest's third winner in this multi-level contest and will receive $25,000 in medical equipment for his veterinary clinic.

"The Great Vectra 3D" $125,000 Giveaway was held from January 3 to March 31, 2008 as part of Summit VetPharm's introductory sales incentive program for Vectra 3D, a new broad-spectrum topical that effectively protects dogs against three vectors -- fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.

Dr. Raleigh graduated from the National University of Ireland with a degree in Veterinary Medicine and also from the Royal College of Surgeons in London. Dr. Raleigh purchased the Sun Prairie Veterinary Clinic fourteen years ago and offers general medical and surgical services, specializing in ear problems and dental disease. Sun Prairie also offers daycare and has a grooming facility, K9 Corner, which leases a portion of the building. In addition, his clinic provides treatment for the pets at the Madison Humane Society's satellite adoption center. Dr. Raleigh currently has a son serving with the Marines in Iraq.

Dr. Raleigh already has a few purchases in mind with his $25,000 prize. "We intend to digitalize our X-Ray equipment and update our Videoscope system so we can incorporate endoscopic techniques for exploratory, surgical and biopsy procedures," explained Dr. Raleigh.

Click here for the full article at

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Beans-n-Cream Coffeehouse To Receive 2008 Dane County Small Business Award

Congratulations to Sun Prairie's own Beans-n-Cream Coffeehouse, who will be recognized at the upcoming 2008 Dane County Small Business Awards Breakfast.

The Dane County Small Business Awards (DCSBA) is now in its 26th year. The DCSBA celebrate small businesses and the contributions they make to our communities and economy. The 2008 awards breakfast will be held Friday, June 13 at the Sheraton Madison Hotel. These awards are primarily coordinated by the UW Small Business Development Center.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Making Connections: State of Dane County's Airport is Topic at May 20 WIN-Madison Meeting

Learn how Dane County Regional Airport keeps Madison connected to the world during a challenging era for the airline industry when airport director Brad Livingston speaks at the May 20 meeting of the WIN-Madison chapter.

The luncheon will be held at the Sheraton Hotel on Madison’s John Nolen Drive. Registration and networking begin at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and the presentation at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $25 for WIN members, $35 for non-members and included with WIN corporate memberships.

Livingston will be joined by Ron McNeill, a former airline executive and now an airline industry consultant with Mead & Hunt. They will discuss the current state of the airline industry, and provide an update on the status of Dane County Regional Airport as a critical direct link to talent, investment and destinations throughout the world.

Livingston and McNeill will give an inside perspective of how growing numbers of travelers and businesses in South Central Wisconsin rely on the Dane County Regional Airport (DCRA) each day, making it a prominent part of the community and the region’s economy.

Also joining the conversation will be the Michael Brophy, vice president for corporate communications with Midwest Airlines. Midwest is one of the airlines serving the Madison-area airport.

Click here for registration information on the Wisconsin Technology Council / Wisconsin Innovation Network web page.

Wisconsin Distributors Featured in May Edition of In Business Magazine

Matt Bottorff, Specialty Brand Representative for Wisconsin Distributors is the subject of this month's Day in the Life feature in In Business Magazine. Appropriately enough, the article is titled "The Beer Salesman."

Wisconsin Distributors is headquartered in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and has become the largest Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler in the State of Wisconsin, serving over 4.5 million case equivalents of beer to more than 3,000 accounts. Their 22 acre site has a 151,000 square foot building which can store up to 42 tractor trailers inside and also has a beer cooler that can store 285,000 cases and 7,000 barrels of beer at any given time. Their operations include more than 135 full time employees. They have a 24 hours-per-day warehouse team of 11 individuals that keep all their beer rotated in their cooler and their trucks loaded everyday.

Pick up a copy of the May 2008 In Business Magazine for the full article, or click here to go to the In Business website for additional information.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Chamber to Host Economic Forecast Luncheon on May 21st

Economist Dennis Winters of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will discuss key issues about our economy including:
  • What is the near-term outlook for Wisconsin's Economy
  • How is Dane County's economy being affected by the demographic changes upon us
  • One initiative for long-term economic growth
Lunch includes sandwich wraps, pasta salad, chips, beverage, & dessert
Date: May 21, 2008 - May 21, 2008
Time: 12:00 pm - 01:00 pm
Address: Wisconsin Distributors 900 Progress Way
Cost: $8.50 per person

For additional information, contact the Chamber of Commerce office at 608.837.4547 or

City to Create Strategic Business Development Plan

Last Tuesday evening, the City Council approved the creation of an ad hoc economic development committee to prepare a Strategic Business Development Plan. We are seeking interested and qualified persons to meet monthly from June to October to help guide this effort. Committee members are to be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.

The official duties of the committee will be:

"The ad hoc economic development committee shall be charged with ensuring that the strategic business development plan 1) provides an overview of current and projected economic conditions, 2) identifies and prioritizes City initiatives relating to economic development for the next five years, and 3) establishes a means of measuring progress of those initiatives."

Anyone interested in being a member of this ad hoc committee can contact Mayor Joe Chase, Alderman John Murray or City Economic Development Coordinator Neil Stechschulte. Interest persons are asked to submit their notice of interest by Friday May 16th. Recommendations for potential members are also encouraged. Interested persons may be asked to submit a short description of their qualifications or background, as well as to explain their interest in serving on the committee.

Please contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894 with any questions, or if you require additional information.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hanley's to Close After 80 Years of Doing Business in Sun Prairie

This post is to confirm that Hanley's, a hardware and power sports store on Sun Prairie's East Side on Main Street, has announced that it is closing after 80 years of business. Tom Hanley, the owner, informed employees late last week that between diminishing profit margins and the potential loss of customer from the pending reconstruction of Main Street, he had made the decsion to close the store. Hanley's employed approximately 40 full time employees and several part time staff.

The announcement comes at the same time as national hardware chain Home Depot announced that they were closing three of their Wisconsin stores (Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac, and NW Milwaukee) while both Madison area stores seem to performing well. The slowed housing market and increased competition have made the hardware/home improvement industry scale back throughout the country.

While it was known that the Hanley building and property had been listed for sale for some time, discussions with Mr. Hanley over the past year were focused on finding a potential new location with additional visibility for his motorcycle dealership, along with select components of his operations. He also stated that the costs of building a new building factored into his decision to close. The existing site is approximately 6.6 acres.

To simply say that Hanley's has been a long standing business in our City would be a gross understatement. They have been an anchor retailer serving the City's East side, the Main Street Corridor, and the City as a whole. Their presence will be sorely missed. We wish Mr. Hanley all the best in his future endeavors, and hope he will remain an active and important part of our community. The City looks forward to working with Mr. Hanley in whatever plans he may have for his Main Street property, and to assist in any way that we can.

Click on any of the following links to view full articles from these sources:

Dane County Regional Airport Receives $9.2 Million Grant for Improvements (Capital Times)

The airport has been awarded $9.2 million in Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Funds to acquire equipment, make airfield improvements and enhance environmental remediation of aircraft de-icing fluids.

The editorial in the Capital Times states "This is arguably the most important economic development work that can be done for a county that will rise or fall in the new global economy based on its ability to get to the rest of the globe."

The Dane County Regional Airport is less than four miles from the City of Sun Prairie. A trip to the airport from Sun Prairie is shorter and faster than most of Madison.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Veridian Homes Wins National Energy Awards (Sun Prairie Star Online)

Veridian Homes has been recognized by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center as a leader in energy-efficient construction. As the winner of a 2008 Gold and Silver EnergyValue Housing Award (EVHA) in multiple categories for the cold climate region, Veridian has demonstrated a laudable commitment to building high-performing energy-efficient homes.

Veridian has two primary projects in Sun Prairie, including Smith's Crossing and Cannery Square.

Sun Prairie Water & Light Earns Award for Reliabilty (Sun Prairie Star Online)

Congratulations to Sun Prairie Water & Light (SPWL), who was recently honored by the American Public Power Association (APPA) for providing its customers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service. Of the more than 2,000 public power utilities in the nation, SPWL is one of 84 to earn the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) recognition. RP3 recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciples: reliability, safety, training and system improvement.