Cummins to finish shutting down next year

Published 9:57 am Thursday, October 3, 2013

LAKE MILLS — Cummins Filtration announced Tuesday its plans to shut down operations in Lake Mills by the end of 2014.

The decision will affect about 80 employees remaining at both the company’s north and south plants in the city, said John Mills, director of external communications for Cummins Inc. The employees will receive severance and outplacement services.

“This has been a difficult decision, and we understand the impact this action will have on the employees and on the community,” a news release stated.

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Cummins has been reducing operations in Lake Mills for several years.

In 2009, it announced it would be transferring its filter assembly operations in the city to its facility in San Luis, Potosi, Mexico. At that time, there were about 500 employees between both plants.

In April 2012, Cummins announced it had sold its north plant to the city of Lake Mills, donating the child care and fitness center facilities.

Lake Mills Mayor Dave Steffens said the city purchased the plant for $750,000 with tax increment financing funds in hopes of attracting a new business that would bring at least 100 jobs.

Cummins leased back about 35,000 square feet from the city in that plant for less than 10 employees, while it continued operations in entirety in the south plant.

Steffens said Wednesday there have been numerous people looking at the north plant, and it will probably be rented out in the near future.

“There’s nothing we can do,” he said. “The city has bought the north plant, and we’re trying to put someone in there to bring some jobs back to town.”

He declined to release further details.

“I’m terribly sorry to see them leave,” he said. “They’ve been really good citizens here and always will be.”

Mills said Cummins will work with city officials and community members to bring new business to Lake Mills.

“We’re going to do what we can to bring jobs,” he said.

The Tuesday announcement was part of the company’s continuing efforts to make it more competitive long term, the release stated.