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Hilker to buy Saputo Building

New London committee approves revolving loan

By John Faucher

A new business will purchase the former Saputo Cheese building located on Wolf River Avenue in New London.

Representatives Tom and Lori Hilker informed the New London Revolving Loan Fund Committee of their plans at its Tuesday, Nov. 3 meeting.

The Hilkers gave the committee a detailed description of their proposed new business, reviewed their financial plans and answered questions from the committee.

Private financing for the business will come from a local bank, in addition to a revolving loan through the Waupaca County Revolving Loan Fund, and the city of New London Revolving Loan Fund.

The city’s loan review committee unanimously approved a $70,000 loan with an interest rate of two percent and a term of ten years pending approval of their private financing.

The Hilkers said they anticipated an official closing date for the property by mid-December. Lori Hilker said they have a lease agreement with the property owner and have already been busy preparing the building for business.

Hilker Warehousing LLC will be the only cold storage facility available in Waupaca County. Tom and Lori Hilker are both employed with Dennis R. Hilker Trucking, Inc. They said based on market research and their experience with clients in the trucking firm, there is a high demand for this type of storage facility.

They informed the committee that they have secured several contracts with firms for warehousing services, including a contract for 70 loads of cheese from an Indiana manufacturer, and a long-term document storage contract with a local manufacturer.

“This is a pretty unique building, which gives us the ability to warehouse a variety of products in temperature controlled environments,” said Lori Hilker.

The building is equipped to suit all stages of the cheese aging process. Other portions of the building, including a large office area, and functioning truck scale will be utilized to serve the existing trucking business.

“We plan to move the office portion of the trucking business into the new office space that the building has to offer,” said Lori Hilker. The two businesses share components that work well with each other.

“We move cheese all over the place,” said Tom Hilker. “Hilker Trucking will be hauling a lot of products to and from the new warehouse facility.”

The working scale in the back of the building is a huge plus, he said.

The large garage bays on the east side of the building will be utilized to house two of Dennis Hilker’s award winning antique trucks.

The Hilkers said the current trucking operation would remain at its present location on Beacon Avenue. However, the family could consider future opportunities to relocate that business.

Tom and Lori Hilker told committee members several cranes would be brought in this week to remove 15 large stainless vats from the top floor of the storage facility. They said they hoped to be bringing customer products in the warehouse facility by mid-month.

They are immediately hiring two tow motor drivers and a full-time secretary for the business.

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