|2/2/2012 6:00:00 PM|
Barneveld business park attracts new tenant
by Steph Carley
The scenery on Highway 18-151 between Dodgeville and Madison the past 10 years has changed significantly, especially around Barneveld.
The once barren stretch now has a hotel, golf course, gas station, and a bank; all made easily accessible by the highway interchange.
These new businesses sprang up on Barneveld's TIF district (tax increment financing). The district opened in 2002 with the intentions of growing into a business park that would allow companies to have a campus-like environment.
There are currently 90-acres in the TIF district but the Barneveld Business Park is currently working with 50, with the potential to use 125 acres, said Mike Peterson, President of the Village of Barneveld. The Village of Barneveld, as well as Iowa County, has been supportive of the project Peterson said.
Peterson has been working with the Iowa County Area Economic Development to get inquiries on potential tenants. He has also made contact with companies like Alliant Energy and Madison Gas and Electric to acquaint them of what the park has to offer.
"Barneveld and Iowa County are centrally located at the heart of 35 million people who live within one day's drive," said Rick Terrien, Executive Director with the Iowa County Area Economic Development.
The Business Park is the only place between Madison and Dubuque with this kind of highway frontage and access, Terrien said, "The transportation hub this is located on is ideal."
"A major highway interchange with on and off access is probably our biggest advantage," Peterson said. While the park is ideal for life sciences, and agricultural science firms, it is not strictly for manufacturing Peterson said. For business firms who want highway frontage, like the hotel, they can be located in the front of the park, while manufacturers can go in the south part of the park.
The Business Park is now open and has received its first tenant. Biovet, currently operating out of Blue Mounds, has purchased 3.6 acres and will soon be building.
According to the Biovet website, the company manufactures innovative direct fed microbial products and nutritional supplements for livestock. While most of their products are utilized in dairy cattle they also have products for a variety of livestock, including horses, swine, and poultry. Their products are to improve livestock management through enhancing the health and productivity of livestock.
Biovet products are widely available through most companies involved in the animal health business, including the Dodgeville Veterinary Service.
Biovet also has distribution channels nationwide. "We have done a small amount of business in Asia, are currently looking at Europe, and have done business in the Middle East for around 10 years," said Biovet marketing director Bill Helwig.
The company was part of another company in 1991 and then split off on their own starting in 1996. At that time, President Bill Zimmer, said they only had two or three employees. They now have 22 full time employees.
In 2006 the company built a new plant and after only six years they have outgrown it. Their growth was the main reason for the relocation to Barneveld, but Zimmer said the growth of their truck traffic also contributed to the move.
With no overpass in their current location, the easy highway access attracted the company.
"Biovet is continuing to grow despite economic challenges because we try to innovate," Helwig said. "Bill is an inventor and patent holder, and as he continues to do this we continue seeing solid growth. He does an excellent job and it fuels our growth," Helwig said.
Their new location will allow them to continue expansion for years to come, Terrien said. The Village of Barneveld is really excited to see Biovet come into the park, as is Iowa County, Peterson added.
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