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Burlington community thankful Echo Lake Foods plans to rebuild

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BURLINGTON (WITI) -- Barbara O'Brion said "Thank God" when she heard the news that Echo Lake Foods plans to rebuild in Burlington following an eight-alarm fire that destroyed a portion of the food production plant -- one of Burlington's largest employers.

O'Brion herself was the victim of a five-alarm fire a year-and-a-half ago, and said she is happy to know Echo Lake employees and the company have some help getting back on track.

"I'm so glad to hear that these politicians--Legislature are getting on the bandwagon, and putting their power behind this community," O'Brion said.

Burlington City Administrator Kevin Lahner says the following people were involved in Monday's meeting with Echo Lake officials, during which the company's reconstruction plans were announced: Racine County Executive Tim Ladwig, the Racine County Economic Development Corporation, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation--including the new head, Reed Hall, Representative Robin Vos, and Representative Samantha Kirkman. 

"We are working with them to discuss what their needs are, to discuss what they're gonna build, and to do what we can to get them back up and operating as quickly as possible," Lahner said.

Lahner says Echo Lake Foods already has plans to put production lines in structures which are still standing, and says the reconstruction project will rely primarily on local contractors.

"They are obviously a big economic impact to the city both their company alone, and the companies that support them, and the employees that spend their money here. So that's very important to us, so we are extremely pleased with the news," Lahner said.

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