IRRR Board to review $7.8 million in Public Works grants at December 13 meeting

Leveraging over $66 million; supporting the creation of 549 new jobs

December 11, 2012

EVELETH, Minn.—At its December 13, 2012 meeting in Eveleth, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) will review $7.8 million in Public Works grants for approval. The grants leverage $66 million in total project investments, which is a 7.5 to 1 ratio, and support the projected creation of 131 permanent and 418 construction jobs.

“These projects tie in directly with Governor Mark Dayton’s priorities for job creation and economic growth,” said IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich. “They are projected to create 549 new jobs in our communities, while leveraging millions of dollars.”

Sertich also said that every dollar invested by the agency is one less dollar that is needed to be raised with local property taxes on local businesses and homeowners. Per state law, half of the agency’s economic development fund must be invested in public works infrastructure projects in local communities.

He said, “A critical piece of economic development is for communities to have the economic infrastructure in place to attract and support businesses. The proposed projects are shovel-ready and will directly support community and economic development.”

Below is a list of projects that will be reviewed: 

Organization

Grant Award

City of Aurora - Infrastructure to N 1st St. and E Central Ave.

$250,000

City of Babbitt - Water/Sewer/Roads 20-unit hotel and conference center

300,000

Bigfork Valley Hospital - Water/Sewer/Roads 20-unit memory care expansion

250,000

City of Biwabik - Replace Water/Sewer/Roads 2nd St.

250,000

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa - Water/Sewer/Roads for medical/dental clinic on Lake Vermilion

300,000

City of Bovey - Water/Sewer/Roads for KMDA expansion

100,000

City of Buhl - Infrastructure to Jones Ave. and State St. and alley

250,000

City of Calumet - Infrastructure to 3rd and 4th Ave.

150,000

City of Chisholm - Infrastructure to 7th and 9th St. on Central Dr.

250,000

City of Cohasset - Improve lift station and water main on Highway 2 for eight businesses

200,000

City of Coleraine - Infrastructure to Powell Ave.

70,000

City of Cook - Waste treatment pond system improvements

150,000

City of Crosby - Retaining pond and overflow area at Graphics Packaging

150,000

City of Ely - Infrastructure to 1st and 8th Ave. and Harvey St. for Highway 169 reconstruction

200,000

City of Eveleth - Water/Sewer/Roads/Site work for Aqua Power expansion

250,000

City of Eveleth - Water/Sewer/Roads for Jones St. reconstruction

250,000

City of Gilbert - Infrastructure to Minnesota and Michigan St. and waste water treatment improvements

250,000

City of Gilbert - Infrastructure to Circle Dr. and Alaskan Ave.

180,000

City of Grand Rapids - Lights, turning lanes, entrance to Itasca Community College

250,000

City of Hibbing - Infrastructure along Highway 169 W for retail development

350,000

City of Hibbing - Phase 2 Brooklyn area for sanitary sewer and water lines

250,000

City of Hoyt Lakes - Emergency service facility remodel and addition

350,000

Lake Superior - Poplar River Water District - Water line from Lake Superior to Lutsen Mt.

250,000

City of LaPrairie - Infrastructure along Highway 169 for 50 residents and 23 businesses

250,000

Town of Lutsen - Superior National Golf Course landscaping and irrigation system

300,000

City of Mountain Iron - Water/Sewer/Roads/Site work for JADCO expansion

250,000

City of Mountain Iron – Site work and soil correction work for mobile MRI unit for clinic

80,000

City of Mountain Iron - Infrastructure to expand housing in Unity addition

250,000

City of Nashwauk - Infrastructure for expansion of Motter Equipment along Highway 169

150,000

City of Orr - Infrastructure and site work for construction of 24-unit assisted living facility

50,000

City of Riverton - Water/Sewer/Roads on a city-wide basis

150,000

City of Taconite - Sanitary sewer lines and road reconstruction to Nelson St.

100,000

City of Tower - Water and sanitary sewer lines and street reconstruction to Main St.

170,000

City of Two Harbors - Construction of 80 x 100 square-foot fixed-based operation building

300,000

City of Virginia - Water/Sewer/Roads on 4th St. North for three proposed developments

350,000

Town of White - Extend Water/Sewer/Roads from 1st. St. to Poplar St.

175,000

TOTAL

$7,825,000

 

In other business, the IRRR Board will consider implementation of an IRRRB Film Production Incentive Program, with an initial capitalization of $800,000. According to Sertich, the program will position the agency for an opportunity to bring two film productions to the area in 2013. These productions could result in direct economic impact of $8 million to the Iron Range.

He said, “This is an exciting development opportunity for the region. The economic impact of North Country, which was filmed partially on the Iron Range, was $5 million and created more than 70 temporary jobs. The potential for these projects is even higher, because the bulk of the movies would be filmed in the region.”

Through the proposed incentive program, IRRRB will reimburse 20% on eligible expenditures in its service area, with a cap of $500,000 per production. In addition, staff will coordinate a Point-of-Sale discount program at local businesses and provide technical assistance as needed.

Two business development projects also are on the agenda. The board will consider a $305,550 loan to Nelson Wood Shims of Cohasset, the largest wood shim manufacturer in North America. This $679,000 project entails an expansion that will assist the company in capturing a larger market share of a product that is primarily imported from China. The expansion is projected to create seven new jobs and retain 29 jobs.

The board also will consider a $250,000 loan to Aqua Power, Inc. of Eveleth, which provides hydro-blasting cleaning and vacuum truck services to the mining, ethanol and paper industries. This $777,000 project involves renovations to the company’s recently acquired buildings for a planned expansion. The expansion is projected to create 10 new jobs and retain 12 jobs.

In addition, $8.7 million in Taconite Economic Development Fund requests will be considered.

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.