As Rock County reacts to the decision to shut down the General Motors plant in Janesville , one business leader believes rail could play a significant role in redeveloping the site or bringing in new business. "I think that it's a tremendous asset to this community, that we have real service," says Steve Scaccia, President of Freeom Plastics in Janesville. He says he would not be able to operate in Rock County without the use of rail service. "I don't ship out by rail," explains Scaccia. "But, the most expensive part of my production process is the raw material that comes in by rail. If I had to buy it by truck, I couldn't be competitive in the marketplace."
Scacia says the same rail service that allows him to remain competitive could be key to finding someone interested in redeveloping the G.M. plant site. "At times people look at it as a nuisance," says Scacia. "But in reality it's a gem that we have that I think is one of the things that is going to allow us to sell Janesville to industry that is going to be coming in."
Scaccia says along with the interstate system and Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport, rail service makes Rock County a prime location for development, since many local manufacturers depend on rail for at least part of their operations.