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A life in Sauk County

Marty Krueger

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

I’ve spent pretty much my entire life here in Sauk County.

I grew up here, raised a family, and ran a business here.

And, over the years, I’ve done my best to help make Sauk County a better place to do all those things.

People contribute to the places they live in a lot of ways. Some people start businesses that provide good jobs to other residents of the County. Some serve others directly, as physicians and social workers and members of charitable organizations. Some give us beauty through art.

I’ve tried to contribute by getting involved in city and county government. It’s not glamorous, but I think it can make a difference.


I spent seven years in Reedsburg’s city government, one year as an alderman and six as mayor.

During that time, I worked with other community leaders to get some things done that made Reedsburg a better place. The single thing I’m most proud of is our success in economic development. 

We took steps to make Reedsburg attractive to businesses, and, as a result, we retained existing employers and attracted new ones.

The ball started rolling when we brought Pace Industries to Reedsburg in the late 1980s, and it continued over the following years.


Out of all that effort, nothing compares to our successful effort to bring Lands' End to Reedsburg, first with a call center and later with a distribution center.

That wasn’t an easy task. There were a lot of communities in Wisconsin (and in Iowa, for that matter) that wanted the Lands' End call center back in 1990. We had to convince Lands' End management that Reedsburg was the best choice.

Lands' End founder Gary Comer and other senior executives flew into Reedsburg for a confidential meeting, visited a potential site, and decided that day to locate the facility in Reedsburg. 

The facility opened in 1991 and created 1,200 full-time-equivalent jobs.

I’ve tried to contribute by getting involved in city and county government. It’s not glamorous, but I think it can make a difference.

The call center was a success. Reedsburg was able to provide qualified people to work there, and we provided a community that was attractive to Lands End management. As a result, when it came time to open a new distribution center in the region, Lands End once again picked Reedsburg.

During this time, we also opened our second industrial park, retained long-time employers, like Seats, and attracted a few new businesses, like Zinga Industries.


It wasn’t job-generator on the scale of Lands End, but I’m also proud of the multiplex movie theater we brought to Reedsburg.

For twenty years, Reedsburg was one of the few places between Madison and LaCrosse where you could get a choice of first-run movies. People drove here to see a movie and, many of them, stayed to have a drink or dinner.

We put some effort into making that happen. We were able to take a disused property along the river and turn it into something valuable, thanks to cooperation between the city and the theater owners from Prairie du Chien.

Sadly, the theater was destroyed by flooding 2018, but for two decades it brought entertainment and economic value to the city.


I’ve been on the Sauk County Board of Supervisors for almost eighteen years, representing District 10, which is the south side of Reedsburg.

For twelve of those years, I was the board chair.  Today I serve on the board’s the Economic Development Committee and the Mirror Lake Management Board.

For nearly eight years — from the beginning until today — I’ve also served as chair of The Great Sauk Trail Commission.

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