IRRR Board to consider $8.6 million in project investments at December 20 meeting

Total investment of $47.2 million; supporting the creation of 351 jobs

December 18, 2013


EVELETH, Minn.—At its Friday, December 20, 2013 meeting in Eveleth, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) will consider approval of a $1.94 million loan and $6.66 million in infrastructure grants. The projects have a total investment of $47.2 million and support the projected creation of 351 jobs.

The City of Biwabik is seeking a $1.94 million non-recourse loan for the Laurentian Monument, Granite & Stone (LMGS) expansion project. LMGS currently produces granite countertops and monuments and is expanding into other areas of natural stone use, such as structural, architectural, decorative and landscaping. The company has experienced high demand for its unique stones, which are found on former Iron Range mining sites. Funding will be used to construct a new industrial building and purchase a site that will provide stone inventory. The total project investment is $2.84 million. It is projected to create 15 jobs. 

The board also will consider $6.66 million in infrastructure grants, totaling $44.4 million in total project investment. It is projected that 336 jobs will be created as a result of the 33 projects.

IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich said that the infrastructure projects are good news for construction workers in northeastern Minnesota, because there is a higher unemployment rate for this job sector in the region. “By investing in these projects, we are helping provide our local construction workers with well-paying jobs, while upgrading outdated infrastructure and supporting business development,” he said. 

Sertich also noted that every dollar invested by the agency is one less dollar that must be raised with local property taxes on local businesses and homeowners. State law requires half of the agency’s economic development fund to be invested in infrastructure projects in local communities.

Below is a list of projects that will be reviewed: 


Project Description

Grant Award

City of Aitkin

Business expansion and construction of new 17,000 sq. ft. facility


City of Aurora

Infrastructure and site work for construction of 32-unit assisted living facility


City of Babbitt

Phase II - 20-unit hotel development


Balsam Township

Construction of new emergency services facility


City of Bigfork

Water system well improvements


City of Biwabik

Phase II Infrastructure & upgrades on 2nd Street N


Bois Forte Band of Chippewa

Infrastructure for new 10-unit housing development


Breitung Township

Replacement of old sanitary sewer lines on Main Street and 5th Ave


City of Buhl

Water/Sewer replacement on Frantz St S


Cities of Calumet and Marble and Greenway Township 

Construction of new emergency services facility


City of Chisholm

Water/Sewer replacement on 3rd Ave NE


City of Chisholm

Water/Sewer replacement on 5th Ave NE


City of Cohasset

Utility extension for new development site


Cities of Coleraine and Bovey

Construction of new emergency services facility


City of Deerwood

Water main improvements to the Cross Drive Area


City of Ely

Water/sewer upgrades on 1st Ave E and Conan/White St alley


City of Eveleth

Infrastructure and site work for construction of 20-unit assisted living facility


Fayal Township

Replacement of culvert on Pleasant Drive


City of Gilbert

Water/sewer replacement between Minnesota and Michigan Avenues


City of Grand Rapids

Infrastructure for new healthcare services clinic


City of Hibbing

Phase II Infrastructure along Hwy 169 W for retail development


City of Hoyt Lakes

Storm water collection system replacement & lift station upgrade


City of Keewatin

New waterline from 2nd Ave E to 3rd Ave E


City of Keewatin

Upgrades to electric sub-station


City of Kinney

Upgrades to water reservoir tank


City of LaPrairie

Municipal sewer extension and road reconstruction


City of Nashwauk

Water/sewer upgrades on 4th St from Central to Pearson and Platt


City of Silver Bay

Replacement of high pressure water main under Hwy 61


City of Taconite

Sanitary system improvements on Stephens St S


Tofte Township

Infrastructure and site work for construction of 10-unit senior housing facility


City of Two Harbors

Infrastructure for new 3200 sq. ft. retail/manufacturing facility


City of Virginia

New infrastructure and site work for the expansion of an existing business


White Township 

Phase III Water/sewer replacement to Gardendale Addition





In addition, $4.7 million in Mine Reinvestment Program (Taconite Economic Development Fund) requests will be considered. State law authorizes grants from this fund to Minnesota’s taconite producers for the following purposes:

• workforce development and associated public facility improvement 

• acquisition of plant and stationary mining equipment and facilities for the producer

• research and development in Minnesota on new mining or taconite, iron, or steel production technology.  

Producers must provide a matching expenditure.   

IRRRB is a state economic development agency headquartered in northeastern Minnesota whose mission is to promote and invest in business, community and workforce development for the betterment of northeastern Minnesota.

Note:  The IRRRB – FY2014 Community Infrastructure Projects map at the top of the page includes the proposed grants listed above and two that were approved at the November 7, 2013 meeting.