Menards Summit; Company to Move 75 More Jobs Out of State

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A mix of about forty lawmakers, DNR officials and Menards company leaders met up at the Capitol building Thursday.

Most seem to believe the glass is still half full when it comes to Menards' future in the Eau Claire area.

"I'm optimistic that we accomplished some great things today, " said Republican State Representitive Terry Moulton.

"It sounds like we're back on track," Eau Claire DNR Director Scott Humrickhouse said.

"I'm cautiously optimistic"

During the meeting, Menards Spokesperson Dawn Sands announced plans to re-locate a plant extension that had been planned for Eau Claire, down to Plano, Illinois.

It's the second such announcement in 2-weeks of jobs. The Illinois menards facility employs about 1,000 people already.

"That is again part in parcel of the difficluty in getting permission from the DNR to build additional facilities in Eau Claire," Sands said.

"I was not aware of the re-location, so the announcement at the meeting caught me by surprise," said Brian Doudna of the Economic Develpoment Corporation.

At issue is a plot of land that the DNR says is important to wildlife and wetland preservation...

The land is still important to Menards for future expansion.

Apprently it's important enough to Republican State Senator Ron Brown of Eau Claire, who at the meeting, claimed there's been one DNR employee who's been against the Menards project all along. Brown woldn't name the person.

Not so, says Humrickhouse.

"I don't know what that's about."

On a positive note, everyone who we talked to coming out of this meeting seems to consider it a success. They'll meet at Menards in Eau Claire in the next couple weeks, though an exact time and location has yet to be announced.