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The Minnesota Business Development Capital Projects Grant Program will fund nine projects across Minnesota.
(Published Sep 19, 2012)
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) on Sept. 13 awarded $47.5 million in competitive business development grants through the Minnesota Business Development Capital Projects Grant Program.
The grant program, which gives the final decision on the distribution of the funds to DEED and the governor, was included in the 2012 bonding bill (2012 Session Laws, Chapter 293).
The program will fund nine economic development projects across the state. According to DEED, these projects of regional and statewide significance will create an estimated 2,000 jobs related to construction and ongoing operations.
The grant recipients were chosen from 90 applicants requesting $288 million. DEED reviewed applications based on five criteria: project readiness, job creation, investment and leverage, regional impact, and public benefit. Projects were organized into metro, north, and south regions to achieve geographic balance.
Gov. Dayton and Minnesota Management and Budget reviewed DEED’s recommendations. Only one project not recommended by DEED was funded—the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Line.
Here is a brief summary of the grant recipients and projected impacts.
Litchfield—First District Association (DEED award: $2.3 million)
The City of Litchfield will relocate sanitary sewer lines so that First District Association, a cheese producer purchasing milk from farmers in 36 Minnesota counties and surrounding states, can expand. The project will create or retain 224 jobs and leverage $100 million in private investment.
Hector—Triple J Farms ($1.1 million)
The City of Hector will work with the City of Buffalo Lake to expand wastewater treatment capacity to allow the expansion of Triple J Farms, a kosher and halal beef processor in Buffalo Lake. The project will create or retain 200 jobs and leverage approximately $10 million.
Lonsdale—Midwest Cryogenic ($1.5 million)
The City of Lonsdale is equipping a new 16-site business park with sewer and water, which will initially host Midwest Cryogenics, a local business that intends to build an 18,000-square-foot facility. The project will create up to 83 jobs and leverage $2.1 million in private investment.
Redwood and Renville Counties—Renville Regional Solid Waste Board ($1.89 million)
The counties will construct a joint material recovery facility to improve collection, processing, and marketing of recyclables. The project will create or retain approximately 44 jobs. The total cost of the project is $4,512,100.
Hutchinson—Ashwill Industries ($763,750)
The City of Hutchinson is constructing a regional entrepreneurship business incubator which will include anchor tenant Ashwill Industries, specializing in prototyping, water jet cutting, and custom fabrication. The project will create 50 jobs and expand the local tax base by about $1,562,500.
Duluth ($8.5 million)
The City of Duluth and a private corporate partner to be announced on Sept. 21 are collaborating on a downtown corporate tower, new parking facility, and skywalk. The project will create up to 300 construction jobs and more than 200 new full-time equivalent jobs, and retain more than 400 jobs. It will leverage $60 million in private investment. The total public infrastructure cost is $20 million.
Wadena—Wellness Center ($4.2 million)
The City of Wadena will construct a 50,000-square-foot public health and wellness facility to replace facilities destroyed in the June 2010 tornado. The project will create approximately 100 construction jobs and 10 new full-time equivalent jobs. The total cost is $10 million.
St. Paul—Saints Stadium ($25 million)
The largest grant is awarded to St. Paul to replace a downtown, polluted industrial site with a new 7,000-seat ballpark to host the St. Paul Saints minor league baseball team and state and regional youth and amateur baseball. The project will create 225 construction jobs, 23 full-time jobs, and hundreds of seasonal positions. The total cost is $54 million.
Metropolitan Council—Southwest Corridor Light Rail ($2 million)
The Metropolitan Council requested funds to continue the design and engineering of the Southwest Light Rail Transit (LRT) project extending the LRT line 15 miles from downtown Minneapolis to St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. The project will create 150 design and engineering jobs. The construction phase will generate over 3,500 construction jobs and 175 permanent jobs to operate the line. The grant will leverage nine times more funding from the Counties Transit Improvement Board, Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, and the Federal Transit Administration.