During 1st of 3 public forums, Wisconsin residents raise concerns over Foxconn project
KENOSHA — Hundreds of people attended a forum to voice their concerns about the major Foxconn Technology Group project in Wisconsin.
Carthage College held the first of three forums on the project Wednesday in Kenosha, the Kenosha News reported . More than 175 people attended the event.
The Taiwanese electronics company wants to build a large flat-screen facility in Mount Pleasant. The first forum focused on how the facility will affect the area’s culture and community.
Some attendees raised concerns about the plant’s environmental impact.
“I’m here because I’m concerned about the water they are going to draw out of the lake and what they are going to put back into it,” said Anita Bennett, of Kenosha.
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative aims to ensure the area’s water is protected, said John Dickert, one of the panelists at the forum. Dickert is the president and CEO of the initiative, which represents almost 130 mayors of Great Lakes cities in the U.S. and Canada.
“The mayors don’t have a problem with industries moving back to the Midwest,” Dickert said. “The technology of the 21st century allows us to have economic development and environmental security.”
Dickert said the group will work to make sure the development is done right and cleaned up appropriately.
Others expressed worries about the potential cultural shock from an influx of workers from outside the community and expressed an interest in hearing more from Foxconn officials directly regarding their concerns.
Mary Spence, of Kenosha, suggested residents create a committee to stay informed of the potential impacts, changes and developments related to the project.
The remaining two forums later this month will focus on the project’s impact on local government, geography and policy, as well as its impact on Wisconsin and beyond.