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Perham approves modified JOBZ agreement with

Perham-based business,, will be losing its JOBZ tax incentives in August.

The company has been unable to maintain the number of employees it needs to in order to keep the benefits.

Established in 2004,'s original JOBZ agreement was good through December 15, 2015. That agreement required the company to maintain at least four and a half jobs and create five more, for a total of nine and a half jobs. The company met and maintained this goal until this year, when it sent a request to the city to modify the job requirement down to six.

In a memo to the Perham City Council, Economic Development Director Chuck Johnson said the company's lowered job goals were "due to market conditions."

At last week's city council meeting, Johnson explained that cutting the JOBZ benefits off early would help avoid having to pay back two years' worth of incentives they've already gotten related to sales tax, property tax and state income tax. As long as maintains the six jobs and stays in compliance with its modified agreement, it will be safe from having to pay any benefits back.

JOBZ stands for Job Opportunity Building Zone. It is a program in Minnesota that provides local and state tax exemptions to companies that expand or relocate into certain regions outside of the Twin Cities metro area.

City councilors unanimously approved the request at last week's meeting; the modified agreement has also been approved by the Perham Economic Development Authority and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Opportunity.

Also at last week's meeting, the council:

• Accepted a request by Perham Properties, LLC to vacate a portion of 5th Ave. N.W. that lies north of Main St. The portion to be vacated is not used as a public street, and business owners there would like to use the additional space for a planned building expansion and parking.

• Gave City Manager Kelcey Klemm the go-ahead to negotiate with a contractor who is interested in fill material from the city's wastewater treatment plant.

According to Klemm, the winning bidder of the interchange project near the new hospital on Highway 10, Central Specialties, has expressed an interest in using the fill. The city would benefit from the arrangement by having the material removed at no cost to the city.

About 120,000 cubic yards of common excavation are needed for the interchange project. Based on the design of the new wastewater holding pond, about 400,000 cubic yards of material will need to be moved from the site.

• Accepted the 2012 financial statements from Perham Lakeside Golf Club. The club's net income for the fiscal year was $71,664.13 - up from last year's net income of $29,331.20.