IRRR Board to consider $1.4 million for development projects at June 17 meeting

Leveraging $9.3 million; creating 41 jobs

June 13, 2013

EVELETH, Minn.—At its Monday, June 17 meeting in Eveleth, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) will consider funding over $1.4 million in development projects. According to IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich, the requested funding would leverage over $9.3 million in total project investments, and 41 jobs are projected to be created as a result of these projects. 

“It is great to see the Iron Range economy improving,” said Sertich. “We are pleased to partner with these businesses to support their job creation.” 

The following projects will be reviewed: 

A $125,938 bank participation loan to The Range Tool Company, LLC to purchase machining equipment to expand production capacity at its Gilbert, Minn. facility will be considered. The total cost of the project is $282,640. Two new full-time jobs are projected to be created.

Northshore Manufacturing, Inc. in Two Harbors is seeking a $500,000 direct loan for purchasing additional capital equipment that will increase efficiencies and allow the company to perform additional value added functions in house. The total project investment is $5,450,000. It is projected to create six new jobs and retain 60 jobs. 

A bank participation loan to Lutsen Mountains Corporation for $450,000 also will be considered. The proposed project includes major upgrades to the snowmaking capabilities at the Lutsen Mountain Ski area on the north shore of Lake Superior and the addition of two or three runs on Moose Mountain. The total project investment is $900,000. Eight new jobs are projected to be created with 84 jobs retained. 

The IRRR Board also will consider a $350,000 public works grant to the city of Grand Rapids for site development and infrastructure requirements for the $2.67 million relocation and expansion of Hammerlund Construction. The project includes a new 5,000 square foot headquarters building, an equipment yard and an 11,000 square foot mechanical/equipment service building. The expansion is projected to create 10 new jobs and 15 construction jobs.

In other business, the IRRR Board will consider funding for a $37.7 million Fiscal Year 2014 budget, which funds the agency’s core development mission. Development projects and programs account for 63% of the agency’s spending, compared to 58% last year. For FY14, $9 million is allocated for development projects, and $7 million is allocated for public works. 

Also included in the proposed budget is funding for community comprehensive plan updates. This new grant program will help communities fund the development and adoption of comprehensive plans in the areas of public works and infrastructure. 

“By developing comprehensive plans, communities will be able to make strategic decisions regarding the best use of their funds,” said Sertich. “In turn, the plans will aid our agency in making funding decisions.” 

The FY 14 budget also includes a Giants Ridge bond redemption repayment to the DJJ Corpus. The need for the repayment dates back to August 19, 2010, when the IRRR Board approved paying off early the debt service for The Quarry Golf Course at Giants Ridge.  The early payment resulted in a cost savings of approximately $6.5 million. The total debt service payment made from the DJJ Corpus was $8,707,969. At that time, it was resolved that the agency would replenish the DJJ Corpus funds at a later date. Accordingly, $2 million will be repaid to the DJJ Corpus as a first installment. 

IRRR Board meetings can be viewed live or on demand anytime at www.irrrb.org

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.