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Controversy surrounding Adams mayor's move to green energy firm

Adams Mayor JanAlyn Baumgartner (Photo from: cityofadams-wi.gov)
Adams Mayor JanAlyn Baumgartner (Photo from: cityofadams-wi.gov)

ADAMS, WI (WTAQ) - Folks in Adams are raising questions, after the mayor went to work for an green energy firm that the city is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to attract.  

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Adams -- a city of 2,000 in central Wisconsin -- would give industrial land and $1 million incentive package to Global Environmental Infrastructure Technology Solutions, or GEITS.  

The paper says the city has spent $900,000 on wind-powered street lights and wastewater equipment from GEITS.  

State officials said they have not reviewed the wastewater improvements -- and they might not be necessary.  

The firm tried getting state and federal funds for a new world headquarters and factory in Adams. They were turned down.  

Tia Nelson of the state's Board of Commissioners of Public Lands said it was the first time in nine years that she did not give her panel a funding application to review.  

An attorney reviewed the Adams proposal, and said it could cost taxpayers up to $22 million over 25 years.  

City Administrator Bob Ellisor said that's wrong. He says GEITS plans to invest $100 million, with the prospect of up to 500 jobs.  

Last November, Adams Mayor JanAlyn Baumgartner became a vice president of government relations and public policy for the company. She rejected a call from one alderman to resign as mayor. The mayor said her situation is legal, because she stays away from all city deliberations and meetings involving the firm.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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